With more and more people choosing alternative methods to casting their ballot than at a polling place on election day — the U.S. Election Assistance Commission estimated that 23.7 million voted absentee in 2008 — making sure voters have access to what they need to do so has become a top priority. This month, the U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) launched an online absentee ballot tool that allows U.S. voters anywhere in the world to download and complete a state-specific absentee ballot request. “We created this tool so that anyone who wishes to vote can be assisted – whether it be a traveling executive, a working parent, a home-bound person, or a college student away from home,” said US Vote President and CEO Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat. “The point of our services is access. We want to make sure all Americans are equipped with the tools they need to vote, from the polling place to the kitchen table.”
The web tool allows voters to either create an account for future use, or fill out the required information as a one-time user. The online form asks basic voter information and then generates a state-specific form populated with the necessary information that the voter then prints, signs and mails to the address provided. Dzieduszycka-Suinat said that part of her inspiration for working on a tool like this is the lack of publicly available innovative voter services in the U.S. “All the organizations out there now need new and better tools,” she said. “You can’t stop at a widget. A widget is one tiny piece of the voting pie.”
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.