Charleston, W.Va. - West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant told lawmakers today at the State Capitol that 82 percent of the online ballots requested by military members and overseas citizens were voted and returned.
All the returned ballots were then counted on Election Day.
Voters from five counties in West Virginia – Jackson, Kanawha, Marshall, Monongalia, and Wood – were able to request and cast a ballot using a secure internet connection. By comparison, in the counties that took part in the pilot program only about 40 percent of absentee voters who requested a ballot by mail voted their ballot and mailed it back.
The Legislative Report on the West Virginia Uniformed Services and Overseas Citizen Online Voting Pilot Project also details voter reaction to the project. According to a survey, 88 percent of voters said casting a ballot online was “simple” while the other 12 percent said it was “somewhat simple.”
Other findings in the report are that the five counties taking part in the pilot program saw an increase in the number of UOCAVA (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) voters when compared to the 2008 primary election.
“This has been an incredible success,” Tennant said. “When you think that overall voter turnout in the primary election was about 23 percent, it makes the 82 percent return rate of voted online ballots that much more impressive. It shows that our county clerks are willing to try new things to make voting easier and more secure, and that the members of our military will make sure their voice is heard. We will continue to let overseas voters know about this for the general and we will see an even higher number in November.”
The Legislative Report also details how a military or overseas voter would apply for an online ballot and the security involved.
The entire report can be read by clicking here