Making overseas voting easier

The World

The problems American ex-pats are having in voting aren’t new, and that’s what’s so frustrating about the process. As hard as it is for voters to get a ballot, it’s equally as hard for election officials to send their ballots. The State of Alabama has about 90,000 voters living abroad, many in the military, and this government official says tracking them down is hard. This year Alabama, Ohio and Minnesota are moving to a new online voter request and tracking system. The website prompts voters for relevant information. The system was designed by a non-profit organization which has teamed up with Federal Express so ex-pats can track their ballots to ensure their delivery to the US. This volunteer with the non-profit org says he does his work because the US government hasn’t done the work. Congress is working on a few bills to improve the overseas voting process. Some say the best way is for voters to cast their votes electronically but voting by computer is controversial because of concerns about security. But this Florida county is bucking the trend for its approx. 4,000 ex-pat voters. They’ve set up a couple electronic kiosks at military bases internationally. The experiment is adding fodder to the drawbacks and merits of the electronic system. One strike against it is it’s price tag: $700,000 for three stations and six poll workers. If the experiment works, some are hoping other districts would follow.

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