WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Online Ballots In The Works For Active Duty Military

Play associated audio
Active duty service members can't cast their ballots in person, but a system for delivering them online is being explored.
Justin Grimes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notbrucelee/5139407571/
Active duty service members can't cast their ballots in person, but a system for delivering them online is being explored.

A special cybersecurity panel of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science has voted to move forward with crafting state legislation to enable many deployed military members to cast their absentee ballots online.

As proposed, the bill would require signing and scanning of each ballot, a witness, and use of a military smart-ID card that's encrypted. Local officials would compare the ballots received with matching absentee voting applications and investigate any irregularities.

SRI International's Jeremy Epstein warned of potential problems, including viruses.

"And then when the local board of elections opens what they think is an email attachment that is a ballot, in fact, they're opening a virus and they're getting their system infectedm" Epstein says.

Supporters countered that military systems are much more secure than personal PCs and said postal mail is insecure and disenfranchised many military voters last year.

Naval Reserve Officer Bob Cary says 25 percent of personnel never even received their ballots, and the ballots of many who did arrived too late to count.

"The fact of the matter is that the current system has extensive risks," Cary says. "In fact, 170,000 military voters are unable to vote in the current system."

The League of Women Voters of Virginia urged caution until security concerns can be cleared up.

WAMU 88.5

The Music And Legacy Of Motown

Motown founder Berry Gordy and director Charles Randolph-Wright of “Motown the Musical" join Diane for a conversation about the history of Detroit's famous sound.

WAMU 88.5

Will Montgomery County Go "Bottoms Up" On Liquor Laws?

Since Prohibition, Montgomery County has held the purse strings on liquor sales, meaning the county sells every drink from beer to bourbon to local bars and restaurants. But local business owners are pushing back from this system, claiming it lacks efficiency and leaves customers waiting. County officials say they are holding out for alternatives that protect those within the industry. We discuss both sides of the issue today.

WAMU 88.5

Exelon's Chief Strategy Officer On Its Proposed Takeover Of Pepco

Kojo chats with Exelon's chief strategy officer about the company's vision for electric service in the Washington region, and its argument for why its acquisition of Pepco is in the best interest of customers.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Another year is coming to a close and the Computer Guys And Gal are here to discuss this year's biggest technology news, including the growth of virtual reality and the "Internet of Things."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.