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Mashable.com: Democracy Live is Leader in eBalloting

BY IN Electronic Ballot Delivery On February 1, 2012

The 2012 Republican primary‘s first vote was not cast in New Hampshire, as most Americans would assume. An Okaloosa County, Fla., resident living in Thailand got that privilege in December, thanks to a new technology called LiveBallot.

LiveBallot, a new platform for accessing ballots built on the Windows Azure operating system, allows American citizens living abroad to access their official ballots from the cloud, 45 days before a state primary or national election.

Once voters download their ballots — from anywhere in the world with Internet access — they can return them by postal service or, for overseas voters only, fax.

You may be thinking that getting your ballot online is only half of online voting. However, as Kim Nelson, director of eGovernment at Microsoft points out, it eliminates the more difficult part of the process.

“While it does only solve half the problem, it’s the most important half,” Nelson told Mashable. “A person living overseas is highly mobile, but almost always has access to the Internet. The Secretary of State isn’t moving, so getting it back to the U.S. is a whole lot easier.”

Nelson notes that while several countries in Europe allow Internet voting, the U.S. does not, largely due to security concerns. Making ballots available online does not, however, present the risk of election fraud, because all ballots still must be signed by registered voters.

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