WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics today announced a new timeline for a pilot project to serve overseas voters. “Digital Vote-by-Mail” - a software application that will allow overseas voters to receive their blank ballot digitally and, at their option, digitally return their marked ballot using a more secure method than e-mail or fax - will be tested in a mock election environment during the second half of September. The system will not be used to cast ballots for the primary election on September 14, 2010.
The timetable for the project, originally scheduled to include a public test this month, is being shifted to provide more time for testing and voter education. “We are delaying this project to take the time to properly configure the hardware and software, conduct a public evaluation and feedback period, and educate overseas voters about their choices,” said Executive Director Rokey W. Suleman, II.
“Overseas voters who are registered to vote in the primary election on September 14 can return their ballot by mail until Election Day, and we will count their ballot if we receive it up to ten days after the election. If they do not have enough time to cast their ballot by mail, they can receive and return their ballot electronically by e-mail or fax,” said Suleman. “However, voters who return their ballot by e-mail or fax are waiving the secrecy of their ballot. We are committed to developing a system that will give all voters the confidence that their ballot has been counted accurately, without sacrificing privacy. The new timetable will allow us to do that properly.”
The previously announced public evaluation period, which will allow members of the public to test the system in a mock election, will begin after the primary election on September 14, 2010. Votes will be cast beginning in October for the general election on November 2, 2010.
The District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics is the independent agency of the District government responsible for the administration of elections, ballot access and voter registration.