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

Photo by TNS

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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