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Some Jackson County Military Personnel Voted On Their Phones This Year

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Jackson County voters serving in the military overseas were given the option this year to vote via their smartphone. So, how’d that work out?

Jackson County clerk Chris Walker says that providing voting options is especially important to make sure military members can vote on time and have it received by election day.

“Although vote by mail is wonderful, it’s great, we’re seeing that it’s not a perfect system," says Walker. "There are delays. It takes time to process paper ballots and there are always people out there saying, ‘oh it could be fraudulent, it’s taking so long,’ but no, it’s just how the system works when we’re dealing with this much paper.”

The ballots were sent via secure fax or email, and when they were received, there was a two-factor authentication login system to access the ballots at the election office.

Walker says that for security reasons, she believes that eligibility should remain selective.

Almost 1,000 voters qualified to vote via the app. They were then sent instructions and voting options in the mail. The app was used by 263 voters, and Walker says she got a lot of positive feedback from users.

“We are giving options to voters -- especially military voters -- who otherwise may not have the opportunity to cast their ballot," Walker says. "They’re fighting for the very right that we’re speaking about today, the right to vote. And it was especially important during the pandemic when there were a lot of countries around the world that weren’t even giving mail delivery.”

This is just a pilot project, but Walker predicts it will be used in the future by other groups who may have difficulty voting by mail.