DeGregorio, Cortés offer their expertise on using technology to serve remote voters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) hosted a two day seminar in Vienna to discuss the current status and potential for employing electronic voting in the OSCE member states. The meeting, organized by Kazakhstan's OSCE Chairmanship and the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, brought together top election officials, international voting experts and non-governmental leaders from around the world.
A key issue during the seminar was the use of technology to serve remote voters. Everyone Counts, the global leader in secure, accessible voting solutions addressed this important subject by sharing with the audience how electronic ballot delivery tools can be successfully deployed so that persons with disabilities, members of the military and other citizens living abroad can exercise their full voting rights. The Honorable Paul DeGregorio, Everyone Counts Chief of Elections (former Chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission) and the Honorable Pedro Cortés, Executive Vice President (former Pennsylvania Secretary of State) highlighted field tested electronic voting solutions that allow the most severely disenfranchised electors to vote securely, privately and independently while creating administrative efficiencies and cost savings for election officials.
“The voice of millions of voters around the world cannot be heard because they do not have meaningful access to their ballots,” said DeGregorio and Cortés. “Everyone Counts is committed to working with elections officials everywhere to reverse this trend and, in doing so, promote democracy.”
According to the World Health Organization, 750 million people in the world are challenged with a disability. In the 2008 U.S. election, 44% of registered people with disabilities who did not vote cited “illness or disability” as the reason for not voting. Universal accesses ballot delivery systems allow for use of audio recordings, screen readers and other common assistive devices, while also removing the burden of travelling to a polling station.
Whether serving in the military, providing volunteer services or simply residing abroad, it is estimated that more than 250 million citizens in the world live outside of their home countries. In addition to the costs and logistics involved in providing paper ballots, there can be significant delays in international delivery of blank ballots and return of voted ballots. The result: large numbers of ballots arriving too late to be counted.
For more than a decade, Everyone Counts, an approved U.S. Department of Defense MOVE Act voting solution supplier for the 2010 General Election, has facilitated hundreds of elections using its eLect® Platform electronic ballot delivery technology. Throughout that time, there has never been a security breach, not a single vote has been lost and no election has been disputed or decertified.
The County and City of Honolulu, Hawaii held the first all-digital election in the U.S. in 2009 using Everyone Counts secure, remote electronic voting systems, which included private voting for the blind. This was done at one-third of their previous election’s cost.
In 2008, American expatriates located in 164 countries voted in the Democratic Presidential Primary using eLect® voting technology. The number of ballots cast that year was seven times higher than 2004 when the primary was conducted using traditional vote by mail methods.
For the 2007 Australian Parliamentary election, Everyone Counts provided remote, electronic kiosk voting for Australian overseas troops. The percentage of military members who voted increased from 23% in the prior election to 75% in 2007.
Everyone Counts’ secure, universal access voting solutions were designed by election experts to provide system integration, reduce cost and increase voter accessibility and ballot marking accuracy. Since 1997, millions of voters in more than 160 countries have exercised their voting rights using Everyone Counts’ technology.
The paper presented at OSCE is available at osce.org. (PDF)