Jacquelyn Callanen, elections administrator for Bexar County, Texas has been testing programs to help service members from the four military installations in her county vote since 2006. For almost a decade Callanen and her staff have been trying a number of different ways — including fax and email — to quickly and securely get ballots to and more importantly from service members serving abroad. And finally, with legislative approval, Callanen thinks they’ve found the solution. “We’re really excited about this,” Callanen said from her office while working to conduct yet another special election in the county. “We have worked really hard on this for many, many years.”
Under a bill approved by the Texas Legislature, in 2014 Callanen was allowed to not only email ballots to service members, but she was also able to accept voted ballots via email from military members serving in hostile fire zones.
According to a report from the secretary of state’s office, the pilot program in Bexar was a success even if the numbers were small. In the May 2014 primary the county received three ballots via email and in the November 2014 general election eight ballots were returned via email.
Service members must first sign an affidavit confirming that they are indeed in a hostile fire zone. Then they are assigned a one-time use secure email address, are sent their ballot, allowed to vote it and return it to the county.
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.