Tag Archives: Absentee ballot

County receives grant for military and overseas voting

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:
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Washington an All-star in helping military members vote

A national organization is recognizing Washington and 14 other states for their efforts in helping members of the military vote.

One of the factors the Military Voter Protection Project looked at was the availability of electronic voting for military members away from home. As explained in today’s story on the upcoming primary, the state created legislation in 2010 requiring county elections officials to make online voting available for military members, people overseas and the disabled.

There is a process for military and overseas residents.

Dolores Gilmore, county elections manager, said county elections employees have no way of knowing who is disabled, so the online option is essentially available to every Kitsap County voter. You don’t actually vote online. What you do is download a PDF version of a ballot, with the option of marking it beforehand or not. You can then email, fax or mail the finished ballot. In all three cases you still have to turn in the signed affidavit that comes with your ballot. It’s the part you sign on the envelope.

More important to military members were the other factors cited by the Military Voter Protection Project.

  • Outreach efforts to military officials.
  • Specialized communications efforts.
  • State legislative efforts to remove barriers.
  • State efforts to make sure ballots are sent out to military members no later than 45 days before an election.

The organization’s press release follows.

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