New method helps military and overseas citizens vote
El Dorado County Registrar of Voters Bill Schultz recently announced he is ushering in a new era of helping our military and overseas citizens cast a ballot.
A $1.8 million federal grant to El Dorado County will allow El Dorado and 12 other California counties to send ballots and voting information electronically to these voters.
The counties’ consortium, known as Cal E-Promise, will provide an easy to use, online interface for voters to access their ballot at their convenience. This is especially important for deployed military voters that may have unpredictable schedules.
“Historically the biggest challenge to serving military and overseas citizens is the slow ballot delivery and return,” said Schultz. “This grant is enabling us to use technology to streamline ballot delivery to our voters anywhere in the world.”
Current law does not allow voters to mark the ballot online or return the ballot by e-mail. Electronically delivered ballots must be mailed or faxed back to the Elections Department.
Schultz is asking for feedback from military and overseas citizens who use the new system. “We believe it will increase participation in the elections process and we want to hear from voters who use it. If we can make more improvements, we want to know.”
El Dorado County’s military and overseas citizens can access their ballot electronically by going to the Elections Department’s Uniformed and Overseas Voters website at ca.liveballot.com/ca/eldorado.
County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn is the fiscal agent for the grant and will oversee payment of the $1.8 million on behalf of El Dorado and the 12 other counties. Assistant Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore prepared the grant application and is coordinating with Federal Grant Administrators and the participating counties.