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Americans Abroad Wait to See if Mail-In Ballots They Mailed Will Arrive

State election officers, in addition to authorized and expertise specialists and a few nonprofit teams that promote voting, argued that the digital transmission of ballots raised safety and privateness considerations, and that altering the foundations so near the election would place an undue burden on election officers and confuse voters. Earlier this 12 months, a number of federal businesses issued guidance classifying digital poll return as excessive threat.

J. Remy Green, one of many attorneys who introduced the case, stated digital voting through the web or apps shouldn’t be conflated with the digital transmission of ballots, which is extra troublesome to hack because it includes particular person electronic mail accounts and fax transmissions, and that the safety threat was outweighed by the profit to voters abroad. The Defense Department even offers a free email-to-fax service for returning abroad ballots.

George Sorrells, an info expertise skilled dwelling outdoors Zurich, and his spouse, Julie Sorrells, tracked their ballots to Wisconsin, solely to find that his had arrived however hers had not. When Mr. Sorrells investigated, he realized he had forgotten to signal his spouse’s poll as a witness and he or she must mail a brand new one from Switzerland.

With the election approaching, they despatched the second poll by FedEx. Mr. Sorrells, who spent nearly $80 in complete returning their ballots, stated it was value it to make sure they arrived. But he stated in some methods he would have felt safer if there have been an electronic mail possibility.

“I paid all that extra money to track the stupid thing,” he stated, “and then I still wound up for almost two weeks thinking, ‘OK, did this thing actually make it there or not?’”

Dana Rawls, a Georgia voter who works in communications in Adelaide, Australia, stated she had voted from the nation with out subject since 2006, “but this year has been an absolute nightmare.”

After Georgia’s main election in June, Ms. Rawls was dismayed to study that the native election workplace by no means acquired her accomplished poll. She was decided her vote could be counted in November.

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