- Delegate Hala Ayala calls for her state government to research blockchain’s possible role in future elections and commerce
- Ayala recently offered two bills to the House of Delegates, both urging the commonwealth to embrace the blockchain technology
- She was recently appointed to be the first-ever chair of the newly formed Technology and Innovation Subcommittee
Hala Ayala, a newly appointed chair of the Virginia House of Delegates, is urging her state government to research how blockchain could be of help for future local elections and commerce.
Delegate Ayala introduced two bills to the House of Delegates on January 8. The first bill asked Virginia’s Department of Elections to study how blockchain can be used as a method of securing the elections, and the second bill called the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) to investigate blockchain’s current and future role in the Old Dominion’s economy.
Ayala’s two bills comprise her political drive to adopt, or at least take into account, the blockchain technology in Virginia.
Her intention to implement the blockchain technology shouldn’t come as a surprise since she was an information security expert with the U.S. Coast Guard for almost 2 decades before accepting the cybersecurity role at the Transportation Security Administration in 2017.
“Right now blockchain is a thriving technology,” said Ayala, who was recently appointed to be the first-ever chair of Technology and Innovation Subcommittee.
Blockchain is also a powerful method to get ahead of future attacks. While the bill calls for the Virginia Department of Elections to research current blockchain voting mechanisms, conduct a cost-benefit study and then make a decision “whether and how to implement blockchain” in elections, it also offers a way to implement the technology.
“We have to take blockchain very seriously and understand it has the mechanics and mechanisms that could potentially provide us with more secure election protection,” Ayala stated.
The second bill would also push blockchain toward more extensive implementation in Virginia, including two years of mandated research on its predominance and role in intrastate trading.
While Delegate Ayala believes the bills will clarify how the state government can reap the benefits from the blockchain technology, she has not yet committed to putting it into action.
“We need to do our homework first to see how we can apply these technologies to their businesses as well as our elections,” she added.
Ayala’s economics bill aspires to develop “a statewide, comprehensive, and coordinated strategy relating to blockchain technology,” the text reads.