Verified Voting Blog: Let the MOVE Act have a chance to work before considering electronic return of ballots

Military and overseas voters saw improvements in their ability to vote in 2010, thanks to the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE) passed in late 2009, according to a report to Congress last month by the Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA). The report indicates that MOVE will improve things further as its provisions become better known and implemented.

The MOVE Act required states to send ballots to military and overseas voters at least 45 days before election-day in federal elections so they have time to return their voted ballot. MPSA must pick up ballots for return to election offices no later than 7 days before election day. MOVE also sped up the process by requiring states to offer electronic transmission (website, email, fax) of blank ballots and registration materials. The law stopped short of establishing electronic return of voted ballots because ballots cannot be secured against undetected interception and manipulation over the internet. New procedures were implemented for 2010, coordinating MPSA with USPS, including the use of Express Military Mail Service (EMMS) for uniformed overseas service members and their families.

The Voting News Weekly: TVN Weekly August 1-7 2011

Tuesday’s primary election in Mississippi was plagued with voting machine malfunctions – candidates’ or entire contests missing from screens and machines that failed to boot up – highlighting national concern about the accuracy and reliability of electronic voting heading into next year’s Presidential election. The 46th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act was marked by an editorial in Politico and efforts by the Secretary of State of Florida to avoid Department of Justice pre-clearance of the most controversial sections of that state’s new election law. Several groups have also asked the DoJ to review South Carolina’s voter ID law. Wisconsin is reconsidering its plans to close 16 DMV offices just as new voter ID requirements go into affect. Meanwhile many voters in the state are receiving absentee ballot applications and other campaign material with incorrect filing deadlines and election dates. A Portland Press Herald editorial recommends that Maine voters reinstate same-day registration and massive cyber attacks against the IOC, UN and several governments underscored concerns about plans for the transmittal of voted ballots over the Internet.