For almost a week after the recent Federal election the nation waited while millions of postal votes travelled at the speed of paper to their home centres to be counted. A group of young Perth entrepreneurs are creating a secure, anonymous and verifiable end-to-end voting process that would see an election result being announced on the same day as the last polling booth closing.
Adrian Petersen and four friends founded veri.vote after the news in 2014 that more than 1300 ballots had been lost in a state election in 2014. The team operates out of the BloomLab at St Catherine’s College, next to the University of Western Australia.
“Results would be available at 6.01pm on election day, subject to scrutinising,” said Rick Newnham, CFO of veri.vote, one of the seven tech startups accepted into the Vocus Upstart Perth accelerator program beginning in August.
“veri.vote opens the door to new questions about how our democratic system can function,” said CEO Adrian Petersen.
“The secret physical paper ballot was first introduced over 150 years ago and not much has changed in ballot technology since then.”
“By taking advantage of the blockchain and advanced cryptography, veri.vote is able to store votes permanently whilst maintaining voter anonymity.
The veri.vote team, along with six other Perth tech startups will receive $40,000 in seed funding from the Vocus Upstart program along with a mentor program that will help develop and commercialise their technology.
Managing Director of Vocus Upstart, Rob Nathan said veri.vote was a poised for a bright future and would benefit from the acceleration seed capital and mentoring offered by the upstart program.
“Vocus Upstart is built on and integrated with the existing startup ecosystem in Perth. Startups such as veri.vote are not just part of a program but part of a community of like minded entrepreneurs making a difference,” he said.
Photo: Dylan Johnston, Ilyas Ridhuan, Adrian Petersen, Cam Sinclair and Rick Newnham from veri.vote with Tony Grist from Vocus
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