Voting Blogs: Let them vote: Move is on to allow more 16- and 17-year olds vote in local elections | electionlineWeekly

Not too many folks can say they were “the first” in their industry to do something, but Jessie Carpenter, clerk for Takoma Park, Maryland can wear that label with pride. In 2013, the City of Takoma Park — a Washington, D.C. suburb — gave 16- and 17-year olds the right to vote in local elections and Carpenter was there to conduct the first election. Since then, Takoma Park has been joined by Hyattsville, Maryland in allowing 16- and 17-year olds to vote, and legislators in San Francisco, Lowell, Massachusetts and the state of Missouri are also considering lowering the voting age. Back in Takoma Park, Carpenter said the transition was pretty seamless.

Maryland: Takoma Park Board of Elections Eliminates Online Absentee Voting | Takoma Park, MD Patch

Takoma Park voters who use an absentee ballot this November will have to mail or deliver their paper ballot because the Board of Elections (BoE) decided not to accept online voting as an alternative to for filing a paper absentee ballot. However, the BoE opted to maintain the online system to confirm a paper absentee ballot has been recorded.

At its meeting Wednesday evening, the BoE passed a resolution directing paper absentee ballots have to be cast in order for the vote to be counted. That resolution is: “That the ballot of record for absentee ballots is the paper ballot, and we will not accept only the electronic record as a ballot vote.”

The need for the resolution was the result of the language for the Internet Confirmation Guidelines for absentee voters produced by Scantegrity, a security system for optical scan voting systems that uses confirmation codes to allow a voter to ensure their ballot has not been changed and is included in the final tally, and presented to the BoE by Filip Zagorski. The confirmation guidelines for the absentee ballot are listed under the heading “Internet Confirmation.”

Maryland: Takoma Park, Md. tests online absentee voting | Electionline Weekly

Takoma Park has never been a city to shy away from trying something new. The small Maryland city is a nuclear-free zone. Non-citizen legal immigrants are allowed to vote in local elections and the city operates its own compost recycling program and silo for corn-burning stoves.

It’s ready to take the plunge into voting technology as well. Takoma Park is experimenting with online voting, hoping to pave the way for use in elections.  A small group of students, led by George Washington University computer science professor Poorvi Vora, spearheaded a test for online absentee voting in Takoma Park in partnership with Scantegrity and Remotegrity.

On a blistering hot day in this suburb of Washington, D.C,, 16 people participated in the trial of the system, using computers within the cool confines of the city’s Community Center.

Maryland: Takoma Park explores online absentee voting |

Takoma Park may offer absentee voters the option to vote online in this falls city council and mayoral election.

The city Board of Elections is working with Scantegrity, a research group that ran the citys 2009 elections, to develop a system in which absentee voters could vote online. The city will still be conducting traditional voting at polling places, regardless of whether an online absentee system is implemented, City Clerk Jessie Carpenter said.