The El Dorado County Elections Department is utilizing new technology to ensure that deployed military personnel and overseas citizens are able to vote in the November 2012 election. The program allows overseas voters to access their ballots electronically within 60 days of an election.
“We were the first county in California to utilize electronic ballot technology in the primary election earlier this year,” said Bill Schultz, Registrar of Voters. “The results were encouraging and we hope more overseas citizens will take advantage of this in November.”
The program was made possible by a $1.8 million Federal Voting Assistance Program grant. The El Dorado County Elections Department applied for the grant on behalf of a 13-county coalition. The coalition was only one of seven grant recipients nationwide. The funds allowed the Elections Department to partner with Democracy Live, a vendor which provides a cloud-based e-balloting platform. Overseas voters access their ballots through a secure portal on the Elections Department website, and can track their ballot return status.
In a new video presentation about the program on the county’s website, Schultz notes that half of El Dorado County’s overseas citizens accessed ballots electronically in the June primary. Ballots were accessed from Canada, France, Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Israel, Mexico the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom.
“Voting rates for military personnel and overseas citizens traditionally fall short compared to domestic returns,” said Schultz. “This technology provides speed and flexibility to the overseas voter that traditional absentee efforts just can’t match.”
Information about the Overseas and Uniformed Services Voter Program is available at edcgov.us/Elections.