Connecticut Study Evaluates Faster Ballot Return for Military and Overseas Voters

In January, the Connecticut secretary of state delivered a report on methods to expedite the return of military ballots. The state currently allows uniformed and overseas voters to request that blank ballots be sent to them electronically 45 days before elections—or as much as 90 days in certain military situations.

The voters must then print out the ballots and return them by mail to the appropriate local election offices by the close of polls on Election Day. The state evaluated three options for swifter return of these ballots: fax, email, and Web-based systems, and found that none could preserve ballot secrecy more effectively than the existing mail system; all the alternatives raised security concerns.

The elections office concluded that military and overseas voters should continue to return ballots by mail but said a Web-based system could improve delivery of ballots to military and overseas voters, allowing them to download candidate information and voting instructions. The state estimated that the cost of this system would be at least $250,000.

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