Online voting: All eyes on Washington state

In the Seattle area, more than a million registered voters will use a smartphone or computer to cast a ballot in an upcoming election.

By

Opinion

February 12, 2020 - 10:37 AM

The problems with an online app that led to an embarrassing delay in tabulating the results of the Iowa caucus votes for Democratic presidential candidates should serve as a not-so-subtle reminder that online voting is not quite ready for prime time.

Still, there is a test program for online voting in the state of Washington that could prove useful in identifying what works and what areas need more work. By experimenting with a small election, the risks are greatly reduced.

In the Seattle area, more than a million registered voters can use a smartphone or computer to cast a ballot in a relatively obscure election for an open spot on the King County Conservation District board. Registered voters can access a ballot by logging into a specially created portal using their name and birth date. They have the option of printing a ballot and returning it by mail, or submitting it online with an electronic signature.

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