Arizona offers military online voting
The system will allow the voter to send those documents directly to the Secretary
PHOENIX - Starting Thursday, voters who are registered in Arizona but live overseas will be able to vote online through a unique Web-based system.
The Secretary of State's Military and Overseas Voting system will allow registered voters to apply for early ballots online and then submit their ballots electronically using a document scanner. Previously, Arizona elections officials allowed them to vote by faxing their ballots.
"They still can vote by fax, and now they have the option of voting on the Internet," Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer said Monday.
The system is expected to aid thousands of overseas voters for the general election. During the previous presidential election in 2004, military and overseas voters cast 7,594 ballots.
Brewer spokesman Kevin Tyne said elections officials decided to include a Web-based voting system after learning that fewer and fewer military installations were equipped with fax machines.
The Secretary of State's office developed the system itself and gained approval from the U.S. Department of Justice last week. Officials included a 128-bit encryption technology with the online ballots, giving each vote the kind of security that's used in online banking and credit card transactions.
"We wanted to be absolutely sure it couldn't be hacked into," Brewer said.
The system will send eligible voters an early ballot online and an affidavit that they must sign to authorize the vote. The voter can print out the documents, fill them out and then upload the ballot and affidavit into a computer using a scanner. The system will allow the voter to send those documents directly to the Secretary of State's Web site.