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West Virginia Becomes First State to Allow This Form of Absentee Voting

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West Virginia is making history, as they become the first state to allow absentee ballots to be cast via smartphone in 24 counties using an app.

The app uses blockchain technology and allows military personnel and overseas voters to still cast their ballots even if they can’t be here in person on election day.

This sounds both incredibly cool and interesting, as well as utterly terrifying. Just think of all the ways someone could hack this…

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After testing a pilot project using an absentee voting app in two counties during the May primary this year, officials found the app’s security to be strong enough to expand the option to 24 of 55 counties for the Nov. 6 general election. Ballots have already rolled in since early voting opened on Friday, submitted from West Virginians stationed in Israel, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

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Development of the app, called Voatz, was supplied by Tusk Montgomery Philanthropies and founded by venture capitalist Bradley Tusk.

“Democracy would work a lot better if more people can vote,” Tusk told West Virginia’s MetroNews.

Security experts are beyond skeptical of the initiative. Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology told CNN, “Mobile voting is a horrific idea. It’s internet voting on people’s horribly secured devices, over our horrible networks, to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.”

If you weren’t worried about foreign interference in our elections before, now might be a really good time to start. Especially if this technology spreads.

It’s great to see all of the various advancements in technology being made in our modern era, but just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do something.

That’s a line from Jurassic Park by the way. Rather fitting for our times.

Source: TheBlaze

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Apple Backs Down, Will Allow Parler Back on App Store

The news is seen as a major boost for the First Amendment.

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Free speech is a fickle thing, and precious too.  If we’re not careful, it can be stripped away but those who hide behind the claim that a “private” company can limit your personal freedoms. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms are almost always the culprits here, bending the algorithmic reach of those with whom they disagree. Enter Parler:  A free speech app where only the bare legal minimum of content would be moderated. The platform became incredibly popular with an astonishing swiftness, but soon faced trouble from companies who had previously aligned themselves with Facebook and Twitter’s more controlling stance. Apple, who had previously booted Parler from its App Store, has now relented to the Constitution. Apple has approved Parler’s return to the iOS app store following improvements the social media company made to better detect and moderate hate speech and incitement, according to a letter the iPhone maker sent to Congress on Monday. The decision clears the way for Parler, an app popular with conservatives including some members of the far right, to be downloaded once again on Apple devices. The letter — addressed to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck and obtained by CNN — explained that since the app was removed from Apple’s platform in January for violations of its policies, Parler “has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices.” On April 14, Apple’s app review team told Parler that its proposed changes were sufficient, the letter continued. Now, all Parler needs to do is to flip the switch. The news is seen as a major boost for the First Amendment.

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WATCH: NC Man Slings Rabid Bobcat Across His Front Yard

WOW!

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For many North Carolinians, neighborhood living brings with it the peace of mind that the most invasive animals you might have to deal with are squirrels who are trying to rest in your attic, or raccoons hoping to fatten up from your trash can.  The Tar Heel state has some bears, sure, but they’re not often the pestering or dangerous type like you might see in the Pacific Northwest or parts of California. But one man this week got up close and personal with a seriously frightening creature this week, after it lunged at his wife from underneath their car. A disturbing video captures the moment a rabid bobcat attacks a North Carolina woman—and the moment her husband grabs it off her and throws it through the air. Kristi and Happy Wade of Burgaw were walking to their SUV to take their cat to the vet the morning of April 9 when the growling animal ran across the street and attacked, WIS-TVreports. After throwing it several feet, Happy Wade eventually shot it after it ran into the couple’s garage and then continued to charge, ABC 11 reports. A neighbor who had been jogging by at the time stopped to help and called 911. Video of the incident is simply unbelievable. https://twitter.com/nojumper/status/1383145940807163904?s=20 The bobcat was injured by Wade and later euthanized by local law enforcement.  An autopsy revealed that the animal was indeed rabid, and the family has been undergoing treatment for their numerous bite wounds.

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