Analysis

States Leverage Technology to Serve Military and Overseas Voters

Nevada and South Dakota are among the states that recently added online tools to streamline the voting process for military and overseas voters. 

Nevada’s system, available to members of the military and their dependents as well as to civilians living overseas, is called the Effective Absentee System for Elections (EASE). It takes the user through a step-by-step online process for registering to vote, requesting and receiving an absentee ballot, and marking and returning the ballot, all while employing a digital signature. 

The signature used is kept on file either with the appropriate county clerk’s office or state department of motor vehicles. The secretary of state’s office developed the system with a grant from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP).

South Dakota also received a grant from FVAP to develop its Innovative Overseas Absentee-Balloting System (iOasis). This system is available to military voters and allows them to register to vote, request and receive an absentee ballot, and mark the ballot in one online transaction. The state uses the Common Access Card, issued by the Department of Defense, to verify voters’ identities. 

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