October 24, 2012 | Vol. 24 Edition 43

Alaskans Can Now Vote Electronically

New online balloting a first for the state

Beginning today, Alaska voters will be able to vote electronically in the statewide election set for Nov. 6.

Valdez Star photo
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell announced the debut of electronic voting in Alaska. Voters can apply for an electronic ballot online. The vote can then be returned by, fax or sent digitally via the secure online ballot return system.

The announcement was made Monday from the office of Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor, Mead Treadwell.

“The online ballot transmission system allows Alaskan voters anywhere in the world to request their ballot by e-mail or fax, and receive their ballot electronically within 24 to 48 hours,” Treadwell’s press release said. “ They then have the option to return their ballot via the secure web-based ballot return system, by mail or by fax.”

Treadwell said the system was first launched in late September for military and Alaska voters that are overseas.

Civilian voters that are no overseas must wait until 15 before elections before they can electronically request a ballot.

“I’m for anything that makes it easier for people to vote,” said Sheri Pierce, city clerk for Valdez. “Before, the only options have been by mail.”

The move comes just weeks before Alaskans head to voting booths for the federal and statewide elections.

According to the press release, the Alaska Division of Elections website contains a direct link to the application for online ballots. It says registered voters should “Simply fill out the form, then mail, e-mail or fax it back to the Division. The Division will deliver an election ballot via the method specified on the form (either e-mail or fax) within 24 to 48 hours of receiving the application. The ballot can be mailed, faxed, or sent digitally via the secure online ballot return system.”

Treadwell’s office says the electronic ballot delivery system was developed by Scytl, a company dedicated to electronic voting technology and electoral modernization.

The state conducted a bid and procurement process that included a thorough review of Scytl’s technology and security measures according to election officials. The platforms for Alaska’s online ballot transmission are hosted in a dedicated secure data center behind a layer of redundant firewalls under constant physical and application monitoring to ensure the security of the system, voter privacy, and election integrity.

In Valdez, voters also have the option to vote absentee at City Hall during regular business hours anytime before November 6.

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