April 17, 2024
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Alan Gorenstein creates secure voting system

Method uses digital identifier known as a token

Alan Gorenstein is executive director for J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Alan Gorenstein is executive director for J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
Alan Gorenstein is executive director for J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Alan Gorenstein, MBA ’92, and his former Mastercard colleagues in Ireland and India have developed a voting method that could restore the public’s trust in how elections are conducted. It leverages features that make credit-card transactions relatively worry-free.

Gorenstein and his colleagues have a patent pending for a voting system that uses forms of identification such as a thumbprint, driver’s license or facial recognition to ensure that you are the one casting a vote as well as security enhanced communications that can deliver that vote from any location.

A key aspect is a digital identifier known as a token. When you buy something with a credit card, the token allows your payment to be processed without exposing your account details.

Gorenstein’s system uses a two-part voter token: one part holds your identity and the other, separate part of the token is your vote. “What we saw in the 2020 election was a relatively uncontrolled environment,” Gorenstein says. “We can’t guarantee that mail-in ballots are or aren’t fraudulent. And, if they are, there’s not enough of a trail to fully understand the nature and scope of the problem.”

Now an executive director for J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Gorenstein developed the voting system while working for Mastercard, where he was senior business leader and head of global marketing analytics.

He says he’s actually most proud of another product for which he earned his second approved patent. It helps foster greater financial inclusion for unbanked and underbanked individuals. Gorenstein’s process enable people to receive an advance on the next load into their account by being paid on prepaid cards, an increasingly common occurrence. These consumer request a line of credit and, through the additional data a prepaid card can provide, they are more likely to get an approval. The creditor is then repaid over time as the borrower’s pay is loaded into the prepaid account.

“It’s really for people who are employed but their hours are unstable or maybe they just run into a one-off problem that requires funding immediately,” Gorenstein says. “This is a positive alternative to payday loans with very high interest rates.”

With nearly three decades of marketing and analytics experience, Gorenstein is helping to produce the next generation of data scientists by advising Binghamton University’s data analytics program. He’s also continuing to seek opportunities to improve existing processes and create new ones.

“I like to develop and test new strategies in marketing, sales, risk, operations and more. It can make a big, measurable impact.”

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