West Virginia sees success in implementing online voting

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June 17, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

CHARLESTON, West Virginia: The West Virginia Secretary of State's Office announced on June 9, 2010, the statistics of its pilot program to allow members of the armed forces and those living overseas to cast their ballots online[1].

77 service members participated in the program according to Natalie Tennant, the Secretary of State. This resulted in a 82 percent participation rate for military and overseas voters who casted their ballots online in the May statewide primary. That is compared to only 40 percent who cast an absentee ballot and return it by regular mail[1].

Tennant praised the success of the program by stating: "when you think that overall voter turnout in the primary election was about 23 percent, it makes the 82 percent return rate of voted online ballots that much more impressive...We will continue to let overseas voters know about this for the general and we will see an even higher number in November.”[1]

Five counties in West Virginia were part of the program. The success of the program has prompted Tennant to ask the West Virginia Legislature to make online voting for overseas and military voters fully implemented statewide. Also, Tennant said that other states have inquired about West Virginia's program signaling expansion nationwide[1].

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