Kitsap County will receive part of a $743,580 award the federal government is giving to 16 Washington counties to assist with an electronic ballot system used by military members and overseas voters.
The county led the consortium of counties in applying for the funding, which will help pay for the system that allows voters outside the state to get ballots by email.
The Department of Defense issued the grant, along with grants to a King County five-county consortium, counties in Texas and Florida and to four states. The DOD money is specifically aimed at efforts to ease voting for members of the military and Americans overseas.
Kitsap’s share will be $30,000 for the five-year program, plus $10,000 to administer the grant for the 16-county group, according to Shawn Devine, elections division spokesman.
The county’s press release follows:
Kitsap Elections receives federal grant for military and overseas voting system
(Port Orchard, WA) – Kitsap County Elections led a group of 16 Washington counties that was recently awarded $743,580 in federal funding.
The grant enables participating counties to implement and maintain an electronic ballot delivery system for military and overseas voters. The ballot delivery system will be similar to Kitsap’s acclaimed Online Ballot Access.
Online Ballot Access – developed by Democracy Live – allows voters to receive their specific ballots by email, eliminating the need to mail ballots to voters living and working outside of Washington state. During the 2012 Presidential Election, Online Ballot Access was used by Kitsap voters in more than 50 countries.
“This is a significant improvement because it greatly reduces the amount of time needed to deliver ballots to Washington voters residing in distant locations,” said Kitsap County Elections Manager Dolores Gilmore.
The Kitsap County Auditor’s Office submitted the grant application on behalf of participating counties and is responsible for dispersing funds and submitting required reports during the five year program. The other counties in the consortium are: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Cowiltz, Douglas, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Kittitas, Mason, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Snohomish, Thurston and Walla Walla.
“Kitsap was one of the first counties in the nation to implement an online ballot delivery system so it makes perfect sense that they lead this group,” says Bryan Finny, CEO Democracy Live. “We are thrilled to partner with counties in deploying this system which will improve access for thousands of voters.”
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide leading edge services to our citizenry,” said Kitsap County Auditor Walter E. Washington. “Through the use of shared resources within this grant we are able to improve ballot delivery to voters.”
To learn more about the Federal Grant visit http://www.fvap.gov/global/news/2013news/nr19-2013.html.