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Statement: Markup ERVS App Used by House Dems for First Remote Votes by US Congress

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Markup LLC, a leading governing technology company based in Washington DC, issued the following statement regarding the use of the Company’s secure remote voting system by the House Democratic Caucus to hold the first-ever virtual election for its leadership for the 117th Congress:

The House Democratic Caucus Organizational Meeting and Leadership Elections for the 117th Congress occurred entirely remotely on November 18 - 19th and December 1-3rd 2020 using Markup LLC’s remote voting system Markup ERVS™, a secure iPhone app developed by Markup in collaboration with Microsoft.

“The ability for legislatures to vote remotely is a critical tool in democracy’s toolbox,” said Joel Rothstein, Markup CEO. “Thanks to the leadership of Chairman Jeffries and the hard work of his staff, the House Democratic Caucus has demonstrated it is possible to smoothly conduct important business remotely,” Rothstein added. “In the face of a global pandemic, legislative bodies in the United States and around the world can have confidence that proven technology exists to enable their vital work to continue securely and safely.”

The House Democratic Caucus purchased a license for the Markup ERVS™ product and Markup deployed the system in coordination with House Information Resources (HIR) and Caucus staff. 230 Members of Congress successfully used Markup ERVS™ to vote for Caucus leadership positions, casting votes remotely using House-managed iPhones pre-loaded with the app for positions including Assistant Speaker, Caucus Vice Chair, and Committee chairs including Appropriations and Foreign Affairs among other closely contested races.

“In order to ensure we could organize our Caucus safely amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, House Democrats conducted the first-ever virtual elections for its leadership team and committee chairs using Markup’s ERVS secure voting app,” Caucus Chairman Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said in a statement. “The technology has been incredibly well-received by the Members," Jeffries added.

Some notable media coverage:

About Markup ERVS™

Markup ERVS™ (Emergency Remote Voting System) is a secure mobile app and secure web-based dashboard that gives any legislative body the ability to conduct votes during both in-person and virtual meetings. Built by Markup LLC in collaboration with Microsoft, Markup ERVS™ allows authorized users to cast secure, authenticated and verifiable votes from any location with a reliable internet connection. Here's how it works:

Markup ERVS™ includes both open and secret ballot capabilities. The House Democratic Caucus utilized the secret ballot features for its leadership elections. The secret ballot system integrates Microsoft ElectionGuard end-to-end encryption to record votes and preserve the secrecy of each ballot. The system is protected by multi-factor authentication and device-level security. Ballots are encrypted, recorded, tabulated and auditable for verification, but the content of individual votes are never revealed.

About Markup LLC

Founded in 2014, Markup LLC is a governing technology company based in Washington D.C. Markup builds non-partisan tools for collaborative governing and remote voting. Markup offers a suite of governing technology products which includes Markup ERVS™ remote voting system and Markup Redline™, a collaborative legislative analysis and drafting tool currently authorized and available for use in the US House of Representatives.

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