Re: [OVC-discuss] An attempt to sneak Internet voting in via the back door?

From: Edward Cherlin <echerlin_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Thu Jun 18 2009 - 17:41:31 CDT

On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 11:02 AM, Arthur Keller <> wrote:
> I think Military Voting USING the Internet is a great idea.  But I'm opposed to Military Voting VIA the Internet.  What's difference, you say?  I think it is reasonable for a military, overseas, or other remote voter to go to an Internet website, type in information about the jurisdiction of the voter, be shown a ballot where the voter enters his/her selections.  The system would download a PDF file, which would be printed, sealed in an a "universal vote-by-mail envelope," where the appropriate affirmations and identification and voter's signature was affixed,

That's one option. What's the difference? Why not allow military
ballots to be printed in the US, by the military at a military
facility, with secure data transmission via MILNET? This does not have
any of the security issues of voting over the open Internet.

If your option were to be used, I would like to see the information
printed on the envelope at the time of voting, all except the
signatures. I would like the military to be required to get and verify
the signatures, and not permit invalid envelopes to go through.

> and then the ballot and envelope could be mailed or otherwise delivered to the local jurisdiction for counting.  The ballot would be handled the way provisional ballots are handled, safely and securely.

It is widely known that mail services in some countries where the
military is deployed are utterly unreliable. If you mean using
military mail, maybe.

> These universal vote-by-mail envelopes would be widely available, and the voter would write the jurisdiction's address on the envelope, and the website that chooses the correct jurisdiction's ballot could give the address information to the voter.

Please print the information on the envelope. Anything to reduce human
error in voting is a plus. Currently about half of military absentee
ballots are reportedly rejected.

> Military bases and US embassies could accept ballots up to the time the *first* polling places close in the US, and the ballots could be considered on time even if received at the local jurisdiction later (but within, say, 7 days of the election).  These acceptance locations might or might not be required to check ID.

Why not?

> In any event, it is the local jurisdiction that verifies the voters identity including signature.
> Best regards,
> Arthur
> At 10:42 AM -0700 6/18/09, Edward Cherlin wrote:
>> I don't think so. This is for service personnel using MILNET at
>> military facilities, not the open Internet.
>> I think we could offer a solution, using human verification of voter
>> ID on the base, electronic vote selection, and remote printing at a
>> DoD facility in the US. The hard part, it seems to me, is to get the
>> proper ballots for every jurisdiction into one database, and match
>> them correctly with military voter registrations back home. This is
>> not primarily a technical problem, but a standards and compliance
>> problem with registrars of voters and election officials.
>> This idea would require serious thought about procedures for
>> verification by local or state officials, without disclosing the
>> connection between voter and votes. It would also require changes in
>> the law, possibly state by state, about military absentee ballots. We
>> could provide electronic digital signatures of voter and witness on a
>> separate sheet or envelope. This should greatly reduce the current
>> problem of incomplete envelope information.
>> There are commercial systems that can print a personalized form letter
>> and a matching envelope and insert the letters in matching envelopes
>> automatically. This might solve a large part of the procedural
>> problem.
>> On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 4:52 AM, <> wrote:
>>  >
> --
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