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West Virginia Launches Unique Tool for Voters to Confirm Electronic Ballot Return
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Jul 10, 2023, 2:37 PM ET
Secretary Warner has implemented a new system that makes voting for military voters and voters living with disabilities far easier and more secure.SEATTLE, WA, UNITED STATES, July 10, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- West Virginia Secretary Mac Warner, a West Point grad with multiple tours of duty overseas, knows first-hand the challenges of voting while deployed. Now with adult children serving abroad and as the State’s top Election official, Secretary Warner has implemented a new system that makes voting for military voters and voters living with disabilities far easier and more secure.
The West Virginia Balloting Portal was the first technology of its kind to offer a tool to voters who could not vote on a conventional paper ballot, due to disabilities, or geography. “Virtually all voters in West Virginia vote at a polling place with voter verified paper ballots under the watchful eye of poll workers, which is the preferred method for most voters,” stated Secretary Warner. “However, there are some voters that cannot see, hold or mark a paper ballot due to disabilities such as Parkinson’s, Cerebral Palsy, paralysis, or blindness that cannot participate or vote without assistance. Additionally, our men and women serving overseas have a much harder time voting than our voters living in the State. All voters regardless of disabilities or deployments, have a right to a private and independent ballot”, said Secretary Warner.
With the launch of the Balloting Portal in 2018, West Virginia voters with disabilities and voters serving abroad have had a more secure and accessible method of voting. For those same voters, Secretary Warner wanted to take security to the next level. He launched the nation’s first ballot verification tool, calling it the Verifier.
Working with the electronic balloting vendor, Democracy Live, the State launched the Verifier ballot verification tool. The Verifier is the first tool that allows a voter to independently confirm the electronic ballot returned via the portal was the ballot received by the elections department.
The process is simple. Voters using the portal, and wishing to confirm their ballot was accurately returned, receive a unique and random “ballot verification code”. Once the electronic ballot has been returned by the voter and received and processed by the election’s office, the voter can enter their verification code to view the electronic ballot they returned. Importantly, all ballots returned electronically are printed on paper.
The Verifier is the first use of BR2 (pronounced BR squared) technology in U.S. elections. BR2 is the name of the technology that assures voters that the ballot returned is the same as ballot received (BR2). Secretary Warner described the idea for the system, “We had a few organizations and a small number of voters who expressed concern around the integrity of the electronic ballot. The idea is pretty simple, ‘Let’s show them the ballot that they returned was the ballot received by the elections office.”
In the initial pilot, over 60% of voters using the balloting portal visited the Verifier verification portal. Importantly, the unique verification code is not attached to the voter. “Every ballot submitted via the portal is printed and tabulated as a paper ballot in the same manner as all other absentee ballots,” stated Secretary Warner.
Led by Synack Security, the Verifier ballot verification portal has been reviewed by over 100 independent cybersecurity researchers to test the security and integrity of the verification portal.
For further information on the Verifier Ballot Verification tool please contact Democracy Live at email@example.com or 855-655-VOTE (8683)
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