Idea Center

Virtual Voting in Arizona

Since almost three out of four adults use the Internet, what better way to reach and educate voters? That's the motivation behind two new programs...
by | October 29, 2008
 

Since almost three out of four adults use the Internet, what better way to reach and educate voters? That's the motivation behind two new programs from Arizona's secretary of state. The first is a Virtual Town Hall, which lets Arizonans watch streaming videos about each proposition on the ballot this November 4th. The town halls begin with a brief explanation of the propositions, move to statements from proponents and opponents, and end with a question-and-answer session. For residents without Internet assess, video transcripts and a printed voter guide are also available. Arizona's military and overseas voters also have an opportunity to "attend" the town halls, and it is for this group that the second program was created. Military and overseas voters can vote online through a unique Web-based system that gives each vote the kind of security that's used in online banking and credit-card transactions. Voters are sent a ballot online and an affidavit that they must sign to authorize the vote. The voter prints out the documents, fills them out and then uploads them using a document scanner. The voter than sends the ballot securely to the secretary of state's site. The system was created after officials learned that fewer and fewer military installations were equipped with fax machines -- the previous method for military and overseas voting. To learn more, visit www.azsos.gov/election/military.htm. To read more about the Internet and voting, check out the column "One Click, One Vote" from Governing's Editor Mark Stencel.

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