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Displaced New Jersey Voters Can Vote Online

Submitted by on November 4, 2012 – 9:34 pmNo Comment

It looks like internet voting just got a shove towards becoming a reality, thanks to Hurricane Sandy. Residents of the Garden State displaced by the storm, and first responders, have been ok’d to use New Jersey’s online voting system, normally reserved for overseas military.

New Jersey’s coastline was hit harder than any part of the country in last week’s hurricane. The state had previously announced plans to use military vehicles as polling places, and many local officials have extended the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot.

The latest move was made possible when Lt. Gov. (and NJ Secretary of State) Kim Guadagno officially designated displaced residents as “overseas voters.”

Mashable explains how voters can seek an online ballot:

Voters who opt for an electronic ballot must email or fax an application to their county clerk (contact info here) who will then determine whether the person qualifies for the provision. If so, the clerk will send the voter two items: an electronic ballot and a “waiver of secrecy form.” The waiver will enable officials to print the ballot and confirm the sender, a loss of privacy made palatable by the gains in access to voting this temporary measure extends. All applications for electronic ballots must be received by 5 p.m. and all ballots themselves must be submitted by 8 p.m. (and don’t forget the attachment!).

Online voting has been discussed for a while as a way to increase enfranchisement in the US, though valid security and legitimacy concerns have always been raised. I wonder: if NJ can pull this off with even reasonable success under these circumstances, will it stand as an argument to increase internet voting in future elections?

What do you think?

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