West Virginia experiments with internet voting

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May 12, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

CHARLESTON, West Virginia: As West Virginians headed to the polls for their statewide primary on May 11, 2010, the Mountaineer State is the first in the nation to experiment with internet voting[1].

Kanawha County was the first county in the state to take up this method to give members of the armed services and those living overseas who intended to cast an absentee ballot in a election. Four other West Virginia counties are part of the pilot project in addition to Kanawha County to help improve the delivery of military and overseas ballots[1].

The system works in which a voter casts their ballot through an website using a secure log-in. Once the ballot is casted, then the ballot is sent as encrypted information to a California company that runs the system. Once the information is received, then the votes are sent to the West Virginia Secretary of State in which the information is encrypted until Election Day. Elections officials hope that the new system eliminates issues of military and overseas ballots not being counted as some arrive past election day[1].

West Virginia's experiment could expand nationally as the federal government could expand the pilot program to other states[2].

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