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First Internet Election Takes Place in Hawaii

pickens (49171) writes | more than 5 years ago

Government 0

Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that voting has ended in what is being touted as the nation's first all-digital election and city officials say it has been a success after some 7.300 voters in Honolulu's neighborhood council election were able to pick winners entirely online or via telephone. Although only 6.3 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, city officials say the experiment appears to have generated few problems and it even saved the financially strapped city around $100,000. "It is kind of the wave of the future," said Bryan Mick, a community relations specialist with the city Neighborhood Commission, "so we're kind of glad in a way that we got to be the ones who initiated it." Before the first day of balloting, voters living in 22 neighborhood board districts with contested races received a passcode that, along with the last four digits of their Social Security number, gave them access to an election Web site created by Everyone Counts. Voting also was conducted by phone, with results electronically fed into the same computer system that collected the Web votes. Lori Steele, head of Everyone Counts, the San Diego-based firm chosen by the commission to run the election, said the computer codes in her firm's system are available for auditing, and that each completed ballot is heavily encrypted and more secure than that used in Internet banking. Web voting, which produces no paper record, cannot be used in city council or state elections because state law bars voting systems that do not include a vote verification process. "The technology side, it works," said Joan Manke, executive secretary of the commission. "So my sense is because it's a change, it's something totally new, it takes time. I think, for people to buy into it, to want to actually try it.""

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