Pew Democracy at a Distance

I am at the Pew Democacy at a Distance conference, which examines mlitary and overseas voters.  They ae having a panel this morning with Jennifer Brunner (OH) and Beth Chapman (AL).  Both Secretary’s are discussing how the state is trying to be sure that the local election officials understand how their federal and state laws work and when they should count absentee ballots.  They both are expressing real problems with the current legal framework and that the times for sending ballots out do not allow for ballots to get back on time for voters who are out on the battlefield.

Secretary Brunner noted that national uniformity would be very helpful, as would emailing ballots to soldiers.  She and Secretary Chapman noted that there are always people who scream fraud/security about innovations.  Secretary Chapman stated that Internet voting is coming and we need to understand that.  Secretary Brunner noted that editorial boards and legislatures need to learn more about the process so that they do not disenfranchise people because of fear.

They both suggested that experimentation is necessary to improve the future of UOCAVA voting.  We can learn from these experiments and then move forward.  (you would think that they both read Mike and I wrote, Point, Click, and Vote:  The Future of Internet Voting, where we tout the need for experiments!)