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Lawmakers poised to allow vote by e-mail

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on March 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm with No Comments »
March 4, 2011 2:12 pm

It looks likely that voters overseas will be able to vote by e-mail in 2012.

Both the state Senate and House have now approved e-mail voting, albeit in bills that are quite different. Neither bill has yet passed in the opposite chamber, but the deal looks all but sealed.

A hurdle to supporters of e-mail voting disappeared with the unseating of a key senator, Eric Oemig. He blocked a bill from coming to a Senate floor vote last year over worries about the security of ballots.

But today the Senate approved SB 5171, allowing for e-mail voting and moving the August primary two weeks earlier to meet a federal mandate. The bill requested by Secretary of State Sam Reed passed with just one vote of dissent, from Sen. Janea Holmquist Newbry.

Reed said in a statement the bill would “ensure that our military service members’ voice is heard in our elections.”

“Auditors will compare the voters’ signature with the one on file for them, and will be able to tally the vote without waiting for the actual paper ballot to arrive by surface mail, as currently required. Our goal is for all properly voted ballots to arrive at the county elections offices in time to be counted.”

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