Washington is already leading the way with mail only voting since 2011, now King County is ready to help blaze some new trails in democracy with a project to test mobile voting in the February special election:
King Conservation District (KCD) will join Democracy Live and Tusk Philanthropies (TP) announcing that KCD is implementing mobile voting in their upcoming Conservation District Board of Supervisors election. This will be the first time in the country that mobile voting is available to all eligible registered voters.
The county says voters will be able to participate in the election by opting in to vote online with their smartphones through a partnership with Democracy Live and Tusk Philanthropies.
“Previous pilots in other jurisdictions were limited to overseas military voters and/or voters with disabilities,” the county announcement reads. King County Elections says the 1.2 million registered voters residing in the conservation district’s service area will be “eligible to vote on their mobile device using the Democracy Live platform.”
The King County Conservation District is a natural resources assistance agency created “to promote the sustainable use of natural resources through responsible stewardship.” It covers most of the county — including Seattle.
Funded by the Department of Defense and selected for the Department of Homeland Security Executive Committee for Critical Voting Infrastructure, privately held Democracy Live is “is the largest provider of cloud and tablet-based voting technologies in the U.S.” and says its solution is “auditable, transparent, secure and accurate.”
Democracy Live developed OmniBallot to be a fully accessible, ADA compliant secure balloting portal available to each of the 200 million voters in the U.S. Democracy Live teamed with Amazon AWS to ensure OmniBallot meets all requirements for security, scalability and accessibility. The OmniBallot secure portal has been deployed in over 1,000 elections across the U.S, serving over 15 million voters in hundreds of jurisdictions since 2008.
The Amazon AWS-driven process creates a paper ballot after a voter’s selections are downloaded by the elections administrator and printed for tabulation. “A voter verified paper ballot is always available for a hand recount if necessary,” the company says.
OmniBallot use AWS to ensure “immutable” ballot storage and the voter’s ballot selections are encrypted and stored in the AWS system.
Meanwhile, the election’s choices might not be as exciting as the technology. The vote will determine one of the five seats on the KCD Supervisor Board. Your options are Stephen “Dutch” Deutschman or Chris Porter. You’ll probably also want to use your mobile device to sort those two out. Voting begins January 22 and continues through 8 PM on Election Day, February 11.
You can start the voting process here.
Visit King County Elections for more about the February special election.
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