Election Tech Tuesday: New Online Tools for Absentee Voters

This Election Data Dispatch series explores emerging issues in elections technology and their relationship to the future of voting and civic engagement in America.

Americans casting absentee ballots have access to two new online tools to get election information, thanks to the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) and the U.S. Vote Foundation.

FVAP, which helps military and overseas voters, has developed the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot online assistant, which uses official, state-verified data to provide a list of candidates for federal races and assists voters in casting ballots. After reviewing the information, voters can use the tool to complete their ballots and either print and mail them or send them electronically, depending on the rules of their home jurisdictions. Some states allow individuals to register to vote using this tool.

The other new tool, intended for domestic absentee voters, is provided by the U.S. Vote Foundation through its Can I Vote Absentee? widget. The tool directs users to select their states and provides the rules for absentee voting in each jurisdiction, along with state-specific absentee ballot applications and submission instructions.

Both organizations have developed widgets so that media and government agencies can embed the tools on their websites. The U.S. Vote Foundation widget is available here, and the FVAP widget is here.

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