be convenient if on-the-road truckers could vote using the Internet.
After all, the IRS found a way for citizens to file Internet tax
returns - and other countries use Internet voting.
England this year tested e-voting in local elections involving
use of mobile phone text messaging, local digital television and
voting from home, libraries and government-run kiosks. Meanwhile
in Canada, the New Democratic Party this month announced election.com
will conduct the NDP's first online leadership election in January
2003. Internet voting also will be available at NDP's leadership
convention for on-site delegates and members.
provides voter registration and database management, poll site
and remote electronic voting, security, tabulation, and custom
demographic reporting for political jurisdictions and private
sector clients. But Internet voting during national elections
in America isn't a reality yet, because problems such as hacking,
verifying identities and ensuring privacy await solutions.
there's Florida, whose fuzzy-worded punch cards brought us the
presidential election confusion of 2000. The state spent $32 million
to "solve" the problem by bringing in computers and
But the machines
and under-trained poll workers who ran them made a mess of recent
primary voting. The machines didn't boot up and they didn't count
thousands of ballots. Florida officials asked the feds to help
with a technology fix before November's national elections.
So for now,
truckdrivers who must work election day should consider the traditional,
paper-based absentee ballot. Or, ask if your state allows citizens
to vote ahead of time or ask if there are procedures to let others
vote on your behalf.
gone to all mail-in balloting. Other states, including: Colorado,
Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico,
North Dakota, and Washington State, allow mail-in voting at one
level or another, and may have restrictions on whether mail ballots
may be used only for ballot questions, non-partisan races, etc.
here's some useful information:
Q. How do I obtain an absentee ballot?
A. You may request an absentee ballot by contacting your local
county or city election official. Depending on your state, this
individual may be the County Clerk, County Auditor, County Registrar
or Supervisor of Elections, or the Board of Elections. In most
cases the phone number for these offices is listed in the blue
government pages of the phone book.
Q. Are there any helpful web sites?
A. The Federal Election Commission has a state-by-state breakdown
of various rules, such as the cut-off date for the receipt of
absentee ballots, when ballots are counted and who counts them.
To find out detailed information about your state, see http://www.fec.gov/pages/faqabsentee.htm.
site is www.absenteeballot.net. Here you can find information
about eligibility requirements for each state for absentee or
early voting, up-to-date contact information for your state, county
and local election offices, absentee ballot deadlines so you can
plan ahead for election day, links to candidates and issues for
major elections through state election websites.
-- Dick Larsen, senior editor