Web Site Helps Troops Vote

There’s a website out there that helps troops and their family members exercise their right to vote.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website provides online wizards for the federal postcard application and the federal write-in absentee ballots, and provides voters direct access to their states’ voting systems, said Mr. Bob Carey, FVAP director, during a recent DODLive Bloggers’ Roundtable interview. The site also includes links relevant to the user’s local elecitions.

Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Vaughn Larson

“So if the state has an online voter registration system for military and overseas voters, [voters] can go [to the site] thru FVAP,” he said. “They don’t even have to use our form. If the state has an online ballot delivery system, [the site] will send them directly there. And hopefully it will be seamless, intuitive, quick.”

This website is especially important, since the FVAP 2010 post-election reportshowed that  29% of the military never received their ballots, and 44% of local election officials sent out ballots after the 45-day deadline.  On the plus side, there was a 21% increase in military voting, a 27% increase in military voters receiving ballots, and a 24% increase in military voters casting ballots.  It also showed broad increases in voter awareness of available voting assistance resources. This is good news, especially considering that the program hopes to roll out some type of eVoting site in the future.

“The Department of Defense has a mandate to do an Internet voting demonstration project for military voting — for military voters. And we are working towards figuring out how to be able to do that,” said Mr. Carey. He said the program must consider a few issues, though, while developing such a site.

“There are inherent security risks with that,” he said. “But there are also inherent security risks with the current system, such as 112,000 people who think they’re going to get a ballot, don’t get it. That’s a risk. There’s not going to be any electronic voting system that’s ever going to be 100 percent secure, but also the current paper-based system is not 100 percent reliable, either. So we’ve got to accept that.”

Some states will very likely run Internet voting systems for military and overseas voters in the 2012 election, he said.  The FVAP site will make sure the voters are aware of them.

He said the ultimate goal is for fvap.gov to be the one-stop shop for military voters.

About Julie Weckerlein

Julie Weckerlein is no stranger to the blogosphere. As a personal and professional blogger for the past 10 years, she further contributes to the internet as a web content manager for the Department of Defense. She's also an Air Force Reserve public affairs non-commissioned officer after a nine-year active duty career with assignments in Germany, Italy and the Pentagon, and a deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan as a combat correspondent for the Air Force News Service. Her affinity for science media started with her first magazine subscription to Ranger Rick at age 9 and she's never lost her excitement for the cool things happening in the world of science.
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3 Responses to Web Site Helps Troops Vote

  1. Bill Kelleher says:

    If DoD has a mandate to do an Internet voting demonstration project for military voting, then what’s causing the delay?

    In 2004 they had a great set up called SERVE.  It was all ready to go when four anti-Internet voting computer science “experts” published a lot of unscientific scary stories about what COULD happen if SERVE wasn’t stopped.  DoD gave in, and halted the project.  Now we see 120k overseas military denied the right to vote by inconvenience.  That wouldn’t have happened if SERVE had been kept.  Why not just restore SERVE, and stop the injustice to out warriors?

    William J. Kelleher,Ph.D.
    Twitter: wjkno1
    Author of Internet Voting Now!

    • Anonymous says:

      Dr. Kelleher,

      Thanks for your question. I think if you take a look at the full transcript you may be able to find more information about the e-voting portion of the site. You can find the full transcript here:

      Carla | AWS Team

  2. How to register a website says:

    Seems to be very great website which helps to for voting..
    Great work on sharing this info.. keep it up!