SERVE Report - DoD Reports May 2007

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Department of Defense:
Expanding the Use of Electronic Voting
Technology for UOCAVA Citizens


As Required by Section 596 of the
National Defense Authorization Act
for Fiscal Year 2007

May 2007



Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
................................................................................ 5

Previous and Ongoing Electronic Voting Projects .................................................. 8

Electronic Transmission Services (ETS)............................................................ 8

Voting Over the Internet Project (VOI) .......................................................... 10

Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment (SERVE)..................................... 11

IVAS 2004 ....................................................................................... 15

IVAS 2006 ....................................................................................... 15

EXPANDING THE USE OF ELECTRONIC ALTERNATIVES FOR FUTURE

ELECTIONS
....................................................................................... 16

Lessons Learned from State and Voter Experience with IVAS 2006 .................................. 16

Post-Election Survey of Local Election Officials - IVAS Tools ................................... 16

Tool One Survey Observations .................................................................... 17

Tool Two Survey Observations .................................................................... 17

Conference Calls with States Regarding their 2006 IVAS Experience................................ 17

Observations by Other Agencies
.................................................................. 18

Electronic Voting Technologies in Other Countries
................................................ 19

Canada........................................................................................... 19

England.......................................................................................... 19

Estonia ......................................................................................... 19

France........................................................................................... 21

The Netherlands ................................................................................. 21

New Zealand ..................................................................................... 22

Spain ........................................................................................... 22

Switzerland...................................................................................... 23

Electronic Voting Technologies in the States .................................................... 23

FVAP PLANS FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF ELECTRONIC VOTING


TECHNOLOGY ...................................................................................... 25

LONG RANGE STRATEGIES
............................................................................ 27

ELECTRONIC VOTING PLANS FOR 2008 AND 2010
....................................................... 28


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


As required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007,

Public Law 109-234, this report discusses plans by the Federal Voting Assistance

Program (FVAP) for expanding the use of electronic voting technologies for citizens

covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) for the

2008 presidential election and the 2010 general election. Included is a summary of

previous and ongoing electronic voter assistance projects undertaken by the FVAP,

electronic voting projects undertaken independently by the states and territories, and

electronic voting projects developed in other countries.


The Electronic Transmission Service (ETS) is a toll free fax option started in

1990 for local election officials and all UOCAVA voters to send and receive (where

permitted by state law) applications, blank ballots, voted ballots and other official

election materials. Voters have the ability to send and receive absentee balloting

materials through toll free fax numbers in 51 countries. A fax-to-email conversion

capability was added in 2003.


The FVAP implemented the Voting Over the Internet (VOI) Pilot Project for the

November 2000 general election. VOI examined the feasibility of using the Internet as an

alternative method for secure, remote absentee registration, ballot request, and voting for

all UOCAVA citizens in participating states. VOI provided the first opportunity for

binding votes to be cast over the Internet in a general election for federal, state, and local

offices. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, Public Law 107-

107, directed the Secretary of Defense to carry out a demonstration project that would

enable absent uniformed service voters to cast ballots through an electronic voting system

in the 2002 or 2004 general election. While not taken to its intended conclusion, the

SERVE 2004 project yielded useful information for the design and certification of

electronic registration and voting systems, and for the direction of future innovation in

the absentee voting process.


IVAS 2004 was a DoD project implemented to allow eligible absentee voters who

possessed DoD identifiers to request and receive their absentee ballots via the Internet.

IVAS 2006 provided two tools for blank ballot request and delivery for use by states and

voters with DoD identifiers. Additionally, it provided consolidated information from the

55 states and territories on electronic transmission alternatives for ballot request, blank

ballot delivery and voted ballot return for all UOCAVA citizens.


The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and the Government Accountability

Office are conducting studies on electronic alternatives for UOCAVA voting. The FVAP

will take their results and recommendations into consideration as it continues to develop

products for 2008 and 2010.


Almost all states and territories allow some combination of fax, email, telephone

and, to a limited degree, the internet, for the request and/or transmission of balloting

material. The extent of usage varies widely. The states accommodate other voting tasks

electronically. These may include checking registration status, viewing blank ballots,

blank and voted ballot tracking, and voted ballot casting. Electronic voting projects in

other countries are varied and ongoing. Communication technologies tested and utilized

include the internet, telephone, text messaging and interactive digital television.


Upon the release of EAC and National Institute of Standards and Technology

(NIST) guidelines for electronic voting, the Department will pursue the development of

an internet voting strategy which may mirror the functionality and security of VOI and

SERVE. A complete internet voting system would provide voter identification and

authentication, voter registration, election administration, ballot delivery, voting,

tabulation, and results reporting. Depending on the recommendations included in the

guidelines and the final design of the system, full development, testing and deployment

would require an estimated 24 to 60 months.


In planning for future tools, the FVAP will consider lessons learned from the

2006 election as well as observations from the participating states, studies and reports

from the EAC, technologies already in use for elections in the 55 states and territories and

countries around the world. For the 2008 elections, the FVAP intends to implement ballot

request and delivery tools that are flexible, convenient and as secure as possible. The

tools should be delivered to the states as far in advance of the election as possible. The

FVAP needs many months to involve and train the states and territories, particularly

when the project involves processes that may be different from the existing state and

local election official practices, as well as to reach out to UOCAVA citizens. The FVAP

and the states will maintain the toll-free ETS and related services, and the FVAP will

continue to promote its legislative initiatives, encouraging the expansion of electronic

alternatives for UOCAVA voters.


In March 2007, the FVAP and the DoD's Business Transformation Agency

released a Request for Information to solicit from industry general electronic solutions

that satisfy 3 absentee voting tasks: voter registration, ballot request, and blank ballot

delivery. Solutions need to support varying state requirements and legally allowed

methods of transmittal.


In June 2007, the FVAP will issue Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit specific

technological solutions that satisfy the Department's electronic voting requirements. The

RFP will be structured to accommodate a multi-phased development plan comprised of a

base system and 2 options. The base system will provide for voter registration and ballot

request for all UOCAVA citizens utilizing an automated FPCA embedded with statespecific

requirements. The 2 options are: 1) blank ballot delivery and 2) digital signature

identity management for both state officials and citizens utilizing CAC cards as well as

comparable certificates issued by other approved authorities. These digital signatures

may serve as the citizens "wet" signature on the FPCA, and as an initial logon identifier.

Barring delays caused by external variables, the following timeline is anticipated:


 • June 2007 - Release of the RFP

 • August 2007 - Responses to the RFP will be evaluated and a contract awarded

 • December 2007 - Base solution availability for implementation in time for
   primary elections

 • March 2008 - Option 1 delivery

 • June 2008 - Option 2 delivery


The FVAP will engage the states early in the development process by soliciting

their input as stakeholders and educating them as the final tools become available. The

FVAP will use election conferences, news releases, teleconferences, letters, and other

avenues to gather input from, and provide information to states, local election officials,

voters, and Voting Assistance Officers worldwide.












INTRODUCTION


As required by the National Defense Authorization Act for 2007, Public Law 109-

234, this report discusses plans by the Department of Defense•s Federal Voting

Assistance Program (FVAP) for expanding the use of electronic voting technologies for

citizens covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act

(UOCAVA) for the 2008 presidential election and the 2010 general election. Included as

background is a brief summary of previous and ongoing projects offering electronic

alternatives to the by-mail absentee voting process undertaken by the FVAP and in the

states, up to and including the Integrated Voting Alternative Site (IVAS) tools used in the

2006 general election.


The FVAP's mission is to facilitate the absentee voting process for UOCAVA

citizens living around the world. This includes consulting with state and local election

officials, prescribing the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) for absentee

registration/ballot request, along with Federal Write-in Absentee Ballots (FWAB), and

distributing descriptive material on state absentee registration and voting procedures. The

primary method of transmitting absentee balloting materials between the voter and local

election offices is by mail. While this method works in most cases, it is a challenge to

deliver balloting materials in a timely manner to a voting population that lives or serves

in remote areas or distant places and/or is mobile (e.g., ships at sea, combat areas,

missionaries and Peace Corps workers). Voters may not be able to receive their election

materials by mail in a timely fashion if they are temporarily away from their place of

residence, or in the case of active uniformed service members, away from their current

duty station on temporary duty assignment, or who receive a permanent change of station

in the weeks before an election.


Previous and Ongoing Electronic Voting Projects


The Department of Defense has a successful history of pursuing the use of

electronic alternatives to the by-mail process of absentee voting, in order to ensure that

all UOCAVA citizens have the opportunity to register and vote absentee regardless of

their location. Often electronic voting alternatives provide a last resort for citizens faced

with time, distance and mobility circumstances that could otherwise lead to his or her

disenfranchisement.


Electronic Transmission Services (ETS)


When military personnel were deployed for Operation Desert Shield in 1990, it

was not possible to use the normal procedures for absentee voting for all personnel, since

round trip transit time for mail delivery of election materials exceeded the time available

to vote absentee in the election. In response, the Department, in cooperation with the

states and territories, established the Electronic Transmission Service (ETS), which

allowed deployed citizens in the Persian Gulf to request and receive their blank absentee

ballots and return their voted ballots via fax. This system, during a two-month period,

allowed for the transmission of 1,675 blank ballots to Service personnel serving in the

Middle East. The FVAP has continued use of the ETS and many states and territories

have legislatively or administratively made changes in their election laws to provide for

this method of transmitting election materials for UOCAVA citizens.


In October 2003, the FVAP expanded the ETS capabilities to include fax-to-email

conversion in support of the uniformed services members stationed in Iraq and

Afghanistan. Since faxing is limited in this region, email was presented as a viable

alternative to service members stationed in this region. The ETS system established an

email account as an option for voters and states to transmit election materials and

absentee ballots. Some states did not allow election officials to email ballots directly to

absentee voters, but their laws did allow the official to fax to the ETS. With the state's

consent, the ETS would then convert the fax to a PDF attachment that could then be

transmitted and received by the voter by email. The voter would print and vote the ballot,

scan and email the completed ballot to the ETS, which would convert the email to a fax

and transmit the ballot in fax format back to the local election official.


Currently, the ETS exists as a toll free option that allows local election officials

and many voters to send and receive (where permitted by state law) applications for

absentee ballots, blank ballots, voted ballots and other official election materials. Voters

have the ability to send and receive absentee balloting materials through toll free fax

numbers in 51 countries. The FVAP website includes links to the international toll free

fax numbers associated with the ETS service.

(http://www.fvap.gov/services/faxing.html)


The ETS service and cooperative efforts by the FVAP and the states to allow

faxing of voting material and responses to voter queries have helped UOCAVA voters

enormously. For the 2006 mid-term election the ETS transmitted 6,018 FPCAs, 462

blank ballots from local election officials to citizens, and 235 voted ballots from citizens

to local election officials. In the 2004 general election, 38,194 FPCAs, 1,844 blank

ballots, and 879 voted ballots were transmitted via the ETS.


2004 ETS Usage image  see pdf.

2006 ETS Usage image see pdf.



Voting Over the Internet Project (VOI)


In 2000, the FVAP implemented the Voting Over the Internet (VOI) Pilot Project

for use in the November 2000 general election. The goal of this small scale project was

to examine the feasibility of using the Internet as an alternative method for remote

absentee registration, ballot request, and voting for UOCAVA citizens. As changes in the

voters' physical location are transparent when using the Internet, the VOI system was

able to mitigate some of the time, distance and mobility issues experienced as it enabled

citizens to register and/or vote regardless of where they had physically moved since

requesting a ballot.


Security has always been a primary concern in the development of information

technology systems that facilitate the election process for UOCAVA citizens. VOI was a

proof of concept project and addressed these concerns rigorously through the use of

digital certificates and encryption to provide privacy and security for all citizen and local

election official transactions. The utilization of Department of Defense (DoD) Medium

Assurance Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) as a separate system that managed digital

certificates and certificate revocation lists provided for identification, authentication, nonrepudiation,

integrity and confidentiality for all PKI enabled DoD applications. Intrusion

detection systems and independent test and certification processes were also applied.


Participating state jurisdictions were Florida, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

The states of Florida, Texas and Utah designated specific counties to participate; the state

of South Carolina chose to make the Pilot available to any UOCAVA citizen eligible to

vote in the state.


The VOI Pilot Project provided the first opportunity for binding votes to be cast

over the Internet in a general election for federal, state, and local offices. In 2003, the

FVAP received the Excellence.Gov award for the VOI project from the Federal Chief

Information Officers Council and The Industry Advisory Council. The Caltech/MIT

Voting Technology Project rated the VOI voter registration application a best practice for

elections. VOI has served as a model of secure voting technology for similar electronic

voting projects undertaken by the FVAP. The full VOI report is available on the FVAP

website at http://www.fvap.gov/services/voi.html.


Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment (SERVE)


Section 1604 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002

(Public Law 107-107) directed the Secretary of Defense to carry out a demonstration

project that would enable absent uniformed service voters to cast ballots through an

electronic voting system in the 2002 or 2004 general election. In 2002, The Director,

FVAP, established a project management office to manage the Secure Electronic

Registration and Voting Experiment (SERVE) for 2004. The objectives of the project

were twofold: 1) to assess whether the use of electronic voting technology could improve

the voting participation success rate for UOCAVA citizens and 2) to assess the potential

impact on state and local election administration of an automated alternative to the

conventional by-mail process of absentee registration and voting.


The FVAP worked with 7 volunteer states to develop a large scale, integrated,

secure, web-based registration and voting system for use in the 2004 elections. This

system envisioned allowing the voter to register and vote using any computer with

Internet access anytime and from any location. It would allow the voter to register from

one physical location and vote from another without having to notify his/her election

official of a physical address change by mail. Other components of the system design

which could be incorporated into existing state systems if the state desired, included

delivering the correct ballot style to the voter; ensuring ballot design integrity; accurately

capturing voter intent and voter ballot verification; and maintaining ballot secrecy. To

provide a high degree of protection, the SERVE security design relied on multiple layers

of redundant checks and balances throughout the hardware, software, and human

elements of the system. Disaster recovery strategies were also incorporated. As an

enhancement of the technology developed for VOI in 2000, the SERVE technology

included roaming digital certificates for voter identification and authentication so the

voter did not need a smart card enabled computer. Encryption mitigated the threats to

network security and voter privacy. Digital signatures were incorporated to combat voter

fraud, and controls were used to guard against vote buying and coercion. The FVAP

developed extensive testing, implementation and post-election evaluation strategies that

would serve to determine whether the SERVE project had satisfied its original objectives.


In the interest of transparency, and to glean constructive criticism to help improve

the system security prior to deployment, the FVAP established a SERVE peer review

group comprised of 10 members from academia and industry. A minority membership of

this group independently publicized security concerns regarding the use of the Internet

for the transmission of balloting materials. Responding to these concerns, then-Deputy

Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz decided that the SERVE project would not be

implemented as planned. In a January 30, 2004 memo, he noted that the Department

"may continue efforts to demonstrate the technical ability to cast ballots through the use

of electronic voting systems. These efforts should be designed to allow the Department to

benefit from the work already in progress." Subsequently, the National Defense

Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 authorized the delay of implementation of the

electronic voting project providing that "the Secretary may delay the implementation of

such demonstration projects until the first regularly scheduled general election for

Federal office which occurs after the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) notifies the

Secretary that the Commission has established electronic absentee voting guidelines and

certifies that it will assist the Secretary in carrying out the project." The EAC will be

working with the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) to develop these

guidelines, and the FVAP will utilize these guidelines in the development of future

electronic absentee voting projects.


While not taken to its intended conclusion, the SERVE project yielded useful

information for the design and certification of electronic registration and voting systems,

and for the direction of future innovation in the absentee voting process. The peer group

minority report commented, "We want to make it clear that in recommending that

SERVE be shut down, we mean no criticism of the FVAP, or of Accenture, or any of its

personnel or subcontractors. They have been completely aware all along of the security

problems we described, and we have been impressed with the engineering sophistication

and skills they have devoted to attempts to ameliorate or eliminate daunting security

problems. We do not believe that a differently constituted project could do any better job

than the current team."


The following chart illustrates the maturity of the SERVE project security. for image see pdf.



Encouraging State Initiatives


The FVAP has consistently encouraged the states and territories to develop

electronic transmission alternatives independently, particularly after the SERVE project

was discontinued. Because of legislative initiatives developed by the FVAP urging all the

states and territories to adopt these technologies, email and faxing protocols are

becoming more widely available to UOCAVA citizens as alternatives to the by-mail

absentee voting process. Fax and email options for voter registration, request and delivery

of blank ballots, and voted ballot return greatly reduce the amount of time needed to

complete the process, and enfranchise UOCAVA voters by providing additional

alternatives when regular mail may not reach the citizen due to his or her remote location

or unreliable mail service in the country where they reside. Currently:


• 32 states and territories allow UOCAVA voters to submit the Federal Post Card
  Application for registration by fax.

• 51 states and territories allow UOCAVA voters to submit the Federal Post Card
  Application for absentee ballot request via fax.

• 36 states and territories allow UOCAVA voters to receive the blank ballot via fax.

• 24 states and territories allow UOCAVA voters to return the voted ballot via fax.


Many states and territories have expanded their electronic transmission alternative

capabilities to include email. Since many forward deployed soldiers have email

capabilities but do not have access to fax machines, the ability to use processes that allow

for email ballot request, ballot delivery, and/or ballot return can be crucial. Some email

protocols are provisional as noted. Currently:


Six states allow UOCAVA voters to submit the Federal Post Card Application for

registration via email:


• Alaska

• Oregon

• Mississippi (for active duty overseas)

• Montana

• Washington

• West Virginia

Twelve states and territories allow UOCAVA voters to submit the Federal Post Card

Application for absentee ballot request via email:


• Alaska

• Illinois (City of Chicago and Cook County only)

• Montana

• Minnesota (restricted)

• Mississippi (for active duty overseas)

• North Dakota

• Oregon

• Puerto Rico

• South Dakota

• Washington

• West Virginia

• Wisconsin

• (Iowa allowed for 2006 election)

Thirteen states allow UOCAVA voters to receive blank ballots via email:

• Alaska

• Colorado (uniformed service members outside the U.S. via ETS.)

• Florida

• Illinois (City of Chicago and Cook County only)

• Montana

• Mississippi (for active duty overseas)

• North Dakota

• Oregon

• South Carolina

• Virginia (certain counties only; uniformed service members outside the U.S.)

• Washington

• West Virginia

• Wisconsin

• (Iowa allowed for 2006 election)

Seven states allow UOCAVA voters to return the voted ballot via email:

• Alaska

• Colorado (uniformed service members outside the U.S. via ETS)

• Mississippi (for active duty overseas)

• Montana (certain counties only)

• North Dakota

• South Carolina

• West Virginia

• (Iowa and Missouri allowed for 2006 election)

Four states and territories currently do not allow any form of electronic transmission of

voting material:

• Alabama

• Guam

• New York

• Wyoming

IVAS 2004

The Interim Voting Assistance System (IVAS) was a project the Department

voluntarily deployed in September 2004 to allow eligible absentee voters to request and

receive their absentee ballots via the Internet. In order to take advantage of IVAS, voters

must have already been in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, be a U.S.

citizen covered under UOCAVA, and must have been registered to vote in a participating

county.


Using IVAS, the voter could request a ballot via a secure connection to a dedicated

website. After the local election official approved the request, IVAS notified the voter via

email that the ballot was available to download. The voter could then download and print the

ballot, mark it by hand and return it by mail to the local election official. One hundred eight

counties in 9 states permitted the use of this alternative method in 2004 with 17 voters

utilizing it to download ballots.


IVAS 2006


IVAS 2006 was an electronic alternative information, ballot request, and delivery site

implemented by the Department of Defense to serve citizens covered by UOCAVA. It was

launched on September 1, 2006 for use in the November 2006 general election. Made

available through the FVAP website, the renamed Integrated Voting Alternative Site (IVAS)

provided expanded coverage via consolidated information from the 55 states and territories

on electronic transmission alternatives for ballot request, blank ballot delivery and voted

ballot return for citizens covered by UOCAVA. Additionally, IVAS provided two tools to the

states for blank ballot request and delivery. Eleven states and territories opted to use one of

the two tools. Access to either tool required a unique DoD identifier possessed by uniformed

service members, their family members, and overseas DoD employees and contractors. For

this reason, use of the two IVAS tools was limited to this sub-population of UOCAVA

citizens.


Tool One allowed UOCAVA voters previously registered to vote in a participating

jurisdiction to request an absentee ballot via email. It was utilized by 470 jurisdictions in 8

states. Between September 1, 2006 and November 7, 2006 the automated FPCA associated

with Tool One was accessed 1,351 times. Because users of IVAS Tool One submitted their

FPCA ballot requests directly to local election officials using their personal email accounts,

the FVAP does not know the number of absentee ballot requests actually submitted using this

tool.


Tool Two allowed for ballot request and blank ballot delivery through a secure server

for voters registered to vote in a participating jurisdiction. Tool Two also had the capability

to allow the voter to be notified that the LEO had received their mailed, voted ballot. It was

used by 103 jurisdictions in 3 states. Between the September 1, 2006 IVAS launch date and

November 5, 2006, the IVAS section of the FVAP website received 34,857 hits; 147 voters

successfully logged into the system and 63 ballot requests were submitted. Of those, 35

ballot requests were approved; 14 requests were denied; 9 requests were deferred and 5

requests were not processed. (A request might not have been processed if, for example, it was

sent to the wrong jurisdiction, was received too late, or, as was the case in Indiana, where a

"wet" signature was required and the original signed document did not arrive in time to be

processed). Of the 35 ballots approved and sent to voters, 29 were viewed by the voters.


The FVAP and Post X, the IVAS Tool Two development sub-contractor maintained

help desk operations to field questions from local election officials and UOCAVA voters.


EXPANDING THE USE OF ELECTRONIC ALTERNATIVES FOR FUTURE
ELECTIONS


The FVAP's goal is to provide as many options as possible for local election officials

to communicate with the citizens they serve, and to meet the real world situations faced by

UOCAVA citizens. In an FVAP survey immediately following the 2006 election, most local

election officials indicated that they would like to continue the use of IVAS in future

elections. Responding to the needs of the states and territories, and UOCAVA citizens, the

FVAP will continue the promotion of electronic transmission alternatives to the by-mail

absentee voting process. During the planning process for 2008, technologies have been and

will continue to be examined for their efficacy as well as their potential vulnerabilities.

FVAP considerations include lessons learned from the 2006 election as well as observations

from the participating states, recommendations from other federal agencies, and the

technologies already in use in the 55 states and territories and other countries.


Lessons Learned from State and Voter Experience with IVAS 2006

Post-Election Survey of Local Election Officials - IVAS Tools


Immediately following the November 2006 election, the FVAP conducted a written

survey of local election officials on both their quantitative and qualitative experience with the

two IVAS tools. Among the data solicited were the total number of ballot requests received

via IVAS, number of ballots sent to voters who requested ballots via IVAS, and number of

voted ballots received from voters who had requested ballots via IVAS. Additionally, local

election officials were asked to comment on their overall experience in terms of ease of use,

effectiveness of training, quality of assistance, and whether they would like to continue the

use of IVAS in future elections. Participation in the IVAS survey by state election officials

was voluntary, so data gathered by the FVAP on IVAS 2006 may be representative, but is not

definitive and cannot be projected.


Tool One Survey Observations


Surveys were sent to 470 participating jurisdictions and 22 completed surveys were

returned. Of these, 19 indicated that they would like to use IVAS in future elections. An

official from one large jurisdiction commented that voters were surprised to receive their

ballots so quickly and that IVAS "opened a line of communication with the voters that is

invaluable in the process". Election officials who contacted the FVAP help desk with

questions reported that their questions were quickly and satisfactorily addressed. No

respondents indicated that they had any technical difficulties facilitating the emailed ballot

request received via IVAS using Tool One.


Tool Two Survey Observations


Surveys were sent to 103 participating jurisdictions and 24 completed surveys were

returned. Fourteen officials indicated that they would like to continue the use of IVAS in

future elections. Ten respondents indicated that they would not and cited the following

reasons: lack of time to learn the procedure; the tool required too much technical expertise;

the set up was confusing; they did not receive passwords in a timely manner; and that its use

fell outside their regular workflow and for that reason they never really became comfortable

with it.


Conference Calls with States Regarding their 2006 IVAS Experience


In January and February of 2007, the FVAP conducted conference calls with election

officials from states that participated in the two IVAS tools. Although all Tool One

participants found the email protocol to be convenient and straightforward, none felt that the

tool was widely used. All expressed an interest in using the same or similar tool in future

elections, and were consistent in their desire to have tools available much earlier in the

election cycle in order to promote its value to both local election officials and UOCAVA

voters.


The three state officials that utilized Tool Two were equally committed to

participating in some form of the IVAS tools in future elections and had specific comments

about the benefits of the tool and the challenges they perceived moving forward. Because

Tool Two utilized a secure server requiring a log-in procedure, it was somewhat more

complex than Tool One.


Kentucky officials expressed frustration that the tool was made available too late in

the election process. Local election officials did not have enough time to become familiar

with the ballot request and delivery process. They also cited a lack of infrastructure in the

counties (e.g., access to email) and a lack of familiarity with the technical requirements of the

tool (accessing and forwarding ballots in PDF format) in some jurisdictions. Kentucky

officials indicated that they expected their electronic communication infrastructure to be

more fully in place for the 2008 elections.


Indiana utilized Tool Two, but state law required that the voter submit a signed copy

of the FPCA ballot request via fax, regular mail, or fax-to-email capability of the FVAP's

Electronic Transmission Service. The voter could use the Tool Two secure server to request

the ballot, but could not receive it via the server until a signed ballot request had been

received by the local election official. Indiana officials cited this legal requirement as a

demonstrable need for flexibility in future ballot request and delivery tools.


Montana officials, who also utilized Tool Two, observed that for the 2006 election

local election officials were already challenged by implementing new systems mandated by

the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), and simply did not have time to learn and

employ an additional system. Some were skeptical that the new protocol was secure,

accountable and complied with state law, and were therefore reluctant to become involved in

the process.


These conversations with the states that participated in IVAS served to reinforce the

FVAP's desire to implement ballot request and deliver tools that are flexible, convenient and

as secure as possible based on risk analysis, and that any system or suite of tools needs to be

established and made available to the states as far in advance of the election as possible. To

encourage broad participation by the states, and robust UOCAVA voter activity, the FVAP

needs several months after any new tool is designed to develop training materials, and train

and educate users in state and local election offices, particularly when the project involves

processes that may be different form the existing state and local election official practices.

The states and territories need many months to reach out to their local election officials. The

FVAP and the states and territories also need time to reach out to UOCAVA citizens, so they

can be made aware of the alternatives available should the by-mail process not work for

them. Adequate lead time will be particularly important for the 2008 presidential election, as

voter interest is historically greater for presidential elections than it is for mid-term elections.


Previous experience with electronic remote voting systems has made it clear that the

development process alone requires time to design, test, evaluate, train users, and deploy new

technology, as well as incorporate improvements and lessons learned into subsequent

versions.


Observations by Other Agencies


Both the EAC and the Government Accountability Office are currently conducting

studies on UOCAVA electronic voting alternatives. The FVAP will take their results and

recommendations into consideration as it continues to develop products for use by the states

and territories, and UOCAVA citizens in 2008 and 2010.


Electronic Voting Technologies in Other Countries


As the DoD moves forward in the development of electronic voting technologies for

UOCAVA citizens, the FVAP is evaluating lessons learned from IVAS, from its previous

electronic voting projects, and from efforts undertaken independently by the states and

territories. In addition, other nations have begun to investigate and test the use of remote

electronic voting tools for their citizens. Several of these projects are summarized below.


Canada


During November 2004 elections in 12 municipalities in Ontario, Canada, about

100,000 voters registered to cast ballots online or by touch-tone phone using an assigned

Voter Identification Number and a password. This electronic voting effort increased voter

participation from the normal rate of 25-30% to 55% in some places. (Source: ACE Electoral

Knowledge Network)


England


In May of 2003, pilot programs in England took place in 59 local jurisdictions.

Approximately 6.4 million people were eligible to vote in these pilots via a variety of

channels - on the internet, by telephone, via text messaging and through interactive digital

television. Similar electronic strategies were to have been used in local elections in May

2006 but were subsequently abandoned, primarily over concerns about the lack of an

adequate audit trail. Electronic trials continue cautiously. In May 2007, elections in 6 local

jurisdictions allowed voting over the internet. Five of these jurisdictions also utilized

telephone voting. One of the advantages of these electronic alternatives is that they allow

voters a wider timeframe in which to act, with lines open for 4 days (3 days prior to Election

Day, and on election day itself). (Sources: World E-gov Forum; The Independent; European

Digital Rights EDRI.org; ACE Electoral Knowledge Network)


Estonia


The technologically favorable infrastructure of Estonia strongly supports the

possibility of internet voting. It is the only country in Europe where access to the internet is

legislated as a social right.


The Estonian internet voting system has been under development since a legal

provision supporting it was put into place in 2002. In part, the effort was undertaken to

combat falling voter turnout and to bring young, tech-savvy people back into the voting pool.

Internet voting is offered in conjunction with traditional voting methods and has been

introduced primarily as a convenience and an improvement on postal voting systems already

in use. The Estonian company Cybernetica, Ltd. developed the system, which uses smart

cards and electronic signatures.


Once the legal issues surrounding internet voting were satisfied, the Estonian

National Election Committee determined that there were no technological obstacles.

Significant modifications were implemented to increase security after hackers tested the

system for vulnerabilities in various trial runs. Primary modifications included: the

disconnection of several subsystems; police protection of the servers; and disconnection from

the internet of the computer that processes the votes.


The software was tested in a small scale referendum vote in the city of Tallinn in

2004 and was taken nationwide for local government elections in October of 2005. This was

the first time that an electorate of an entire country could cast its vote over the internet in a

public election. Internet voting took place over a 3-day period prior to the October 16, 2005

election day; 9,317 voters participated (1.85 percent of participating voters, in an election

with a 47.4 percent voter turnout).


The internet voting procedure required a government issued electronic ID card

equipped with a computer-readable microchip and digital signature that allowed the voter to

be unambiguously identified online after logging on to vote. More than 80% of Estonia's

1.06 million registered voters have these ID cards. However, in order to participate in the

election voters needed to have the card validated for use online and had to purchase an ID

card reader for approximately $15 which required software that some critics regarded as

difficult to install on laptops and PCs. The encrypted system was based on the digital

envelope method and used public key cryptography.


The system allows for electronic re-votes. The voter can cast his or her ballot again

electronically and the previous vote will be deleted. Should the voter go a polling station

during the advance voting period and vote in person, any prior electronic vote will be

deleted. On Election Day registered electronic votes cannot be changed or made void. At the

end of the advance election period, a list of voters who have voted electronically is compiled

and sent to polling stations. The station makes a notation on the voter list that the person has

already voted. This prevents them from voting for a second time on election day. A benefit of

the reversible internet voting mechanism is that it has potential for overcoming fears of vote

buying and coercion in respect to remote voting by allowing voters to re-cast ballots that may

have been coerced.


Observers from approximately 40 countries witnessed the process. Election observers

noted no technical problems and no hackers were detected manipulating the process. The

electoral commission did not receive any complaints following the election regarding the evoting

system. A post election survey indicated that internet voting was perceived as

convenient and that it made voting quick, practical and overall simplified. Detractors point

out that although Estonia has issued more than one million of the necessary ID cards,

relatively few of the nation's computer users have installed the smart card readers that accept

them. Further, the system leaves no traditional paper trail for election observers to follow.


The October 2005 internet voting experiment was deemed a success. The process was

used again in national parliamentary elections in March of 2007 when 30,275 votes were cast

over the internet. (Sources: World E-gov Forum; Euractiv.com; ACE Electoral Knowledge

Network; UBINS.org)


The Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) observed the

March 2007 elections. The OSCE findings have not been released as of this report's issuance.


France


French citizens living in the United States were allowed to elect their representatives

to the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad (a public legislative body which elects members

of the Upper House of the French parliament who represent French citizens residing abroad)

in June of 2003, over the Internet using CyberVote, a highly secure and encrypted voting

solution developed by EADS Defense and Security Systems. Following that experiment, the

Internet Rights Forum, a private board supported by the French government recommended

that electronic voting should not be introduced to the general citizenry, but that it should

continue to be available to French citizens abroad. Elections for this population were

subsequently held on June 18, 2006 with an eligible voter base of 525,000 individuals

residing in 68 countries; 28,138 individuals registered to vote via the internet and 10,200

votes were cast. The relatively low participation was due, in part, to the complexity of the

process. During the week before the election, the voter had to confirm his/her registration,

and had to test his/her computer's compatibility with the protocol. (Sources: World E-gov

Forum; European Digital Rights edri.org; ACE Electoral Knowledge Network; Internet

Rights Forum)


The Netherlands


In the 2004 European Parliamentary election, 5,351 of the roughly 16,000 Dutch

citizens who were living overseas, and who registered for remote electronic voting, cast their

ballots via the Internet or over the telephone. During the development process it was

recommended that the design, implementation and testing procedures should not be

conducted by the same company. Testing was conducted by the Security of Systems (SoS)

Group at Radbound University Nijmegen. SoS Group did not take part in either the design or

implementation of the system, but did take an active part in performing a penetration test of

the vote servers. SoS Group had virtually no knowledge of the hardware, software, networks

or personnel involved with the server system. In fact, the information it did possess was

essentially public information, since it could be easily obtained by readily available analysis

tools. The testing goals comprised two scenarios: 1) to attempt to break into the system and

compromise its integrity and 2) to see if the system was vulnerable to denial of service

attacks. Testing revealed that the systems were appropriately hosted, monitored and

configured, and that adequate measures were installed for detecting attack - no compromise

to the system was detected. However, the system was easily stalled by a denial of service

attack. Because this risk is virtually impossible to prevent completely, the Dutch Ministry

accepted the system and proceeded to utilize it in the overseas election.


Along with standard security protocols, the Dutch remote voting system included

some interesting features: 1) Data integrity was ensured by the use of candidate codes. 1,000

codes were generated for each candidate and only one of these codes was randomly assigned

to each voter. Consequently, it was virtually impossible for an attacker to substitute the ballot

by choosing the appropriate code for a different candidate; 2) votes were doubly encrypted.

The only opportunity to decrypt the votes on the server side would be to close the polls. As

closing the polls was an irreversible action, altering the votes at the server side was not

possible; 3) if a voter tried to utilize both technologies (phone and internet) to cast a vote,

only the first vote was stored. The second attempt would fail because the voter had already

cast his or her vote; 4) voters were able to verify that their ballot had been correctly recorded

and included in the final election tally by using a transaction code they received when casting

their ballots. The evaluation of the experiment determined that a large number of voters

abroad considered that Internet voting had an added value and made voting more accessible,

and they would like to have the option of voting on the Internet again in the future. For the

November 22, 2006 Parliamentary elections, Dutch citizens overseas had their choice of

voting over the Internet or the traditional by-mail method. For 2006, the transparency of the

system had been improved, the registration and authentication process had been made more

voter-friendly, the voting period was shortened and telephone voting was not available. A

thorough post-election evaluation is being conducted, the results of which will be used in a

political debate about the use of Internet voting in the future. (Sources: ACE Electoral

Network; Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations "Evaluation Report; Experiment

with Internet and Telephone Voting for Voters Abroad")


New Zealand


In the July 2002 general election the New Zealand Chief Electoral Office introduced

to its overseas voters an electronic voting alternative much like 2006 IVAS Tool Two. Voters

logged onto a secure server using shared secret identifiers to request and download ballots.

Ballots were then printed, marked, signed and faxed back to the Election Office. The service

was well received by voters - approximately 20,000 participated, and there were no reported

disruptions or instances of hacking. (Source: ACE Electoral Knowledge Network)


Spain


In November 2003, a non-binding remote electronic voting pilot was run parallel to

the public election. More than 23,000 Catalan citizens residing in Argentina, Belgium, the

United States, Mexico and Chile were invited to participate in the election using any

computer connected to the Internet by means of a web browser supporting Java (virtually

100% of the browsers on the market). Java technology was required to cryptographically

process every individual ballot to ensure its security. Participants logged onto the system

using credentials that had been mailed to them and 730 ballots were cast. Subsequent voter

opinion surveys showed clear approval of the system; 97% were satisfied or very satisfied

with the experience; 96% found that the system gave much or a reasonable amount of

confidence; 98% found the system easy or very easy to use; and 98% indicated that they

definitely or probably would have chosen to use the system if the process would have been

binding. Subsequent evaluation of the process, including the inherent risks discussed

previously in this report concluded that electronic voting has the potential to improve the

electoral experience and enhance the democratic process, but that naively implemented

electronic voting systems can pose serious threats to the integrity of elections and shake

public confidence. Sophisticated security measures are clearly required to maintain the public

trust. (Source: ACE Electoral Knowledge Network)


Switzerland


In August of 2000, the Swiss government began examining the possibilities of

electronic voting for citizens living away from their polling places. From 2003 to 2005 a

variety of legally binding test projects were conducted in the canton of Geneva, the

communities of Anieres, Colony, Carouge, Meyrin, Neuchatel and Zurich. The Swiss

government and parliament used the pilot projects to determine the future of remote

electronic voting as a supplementary vote counting method. The system is based on existing

voting materials and requires no added features on the voter's computer (e.g. ID card

reader). Registered voters receive polling cards and ballots by regular mail prior to each

election. The polling cards contain a voter number as well as a secret identification code that

is printed under a scratchable metallic strip. To vote electronically, the voter access the evoting

system through the internet, enters his or her voter number and enters his or her ballot

choices. Upon confirmation of those choices, the voter enters the secret identification code,

along with date and place of birth. The system then confirms that the vote has been

successfully transmitted and recorded. Polling cards on which the metallic strip has been

scratched off may not be used in person at polling places or for ballots returned by mail

unless a barcode check indicates that the voter has not previously cast a vote electronically.

(Sources: ACE Electoral Knowledge Network; World E-gov Forum;"The Scope of E-Voting

in Switzerland", Daniel Braendli, Swiss Federal Chancellery)


Electronic Voting Technologies in the States


The 55 states and territories have been resourceful in expanding alternative electronic

transmission capabilities (particularly fax and email) for voter registration, ballot request and

blank ballot delivery, and for several years the FVAP has been encouraging these

advancements through legislative initiatives. Beginning with the VOI project in 2000, and

continuing to date, the FVAP has also encouraged the state governments to expand their

acceptance of digital signatures for registration and voting purposes. One of the principal

requirements for the VOI project was to be able to identify and authenticate voters with a

high degree of certainty. The mechanism selected to provide this capability was the DoD

Medium Assurance PKI. The issuing procedure for digital certificates required the recipient

to appear in person before an issuing authority or the authority's trusted agent and present

official photo identification. The use of digital identifiers throughout government continues

to grow. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, announced on August 27, 2004,

mandates the use of "smart cards" which contain electronic credentials that allow their

bearers to be identified in several ways - photographic images, fingerprints, personal

information numbers, and digital signatures. As the government agencies fulfill their

obligations to provide these cards to government personnel, the number of individuals

possessing these electronic identifiers has grown considerably. Currently approved for use in

many states for banking, insurance and commerce-related transactions, digital signatures (as

used in the FVAP's VOI project) are not yet employed in the elections process. (Utah did

authorize electronic signatures attached to voted ballots for the 2000 FVAP VOI project to be

used for identification and authentication of voters). The FVAP believes that the ability to

use these electronic identifiers on balloting material would be an enormous benefit as an

alternative method for those UOCAVA citizens who possess them, and the FVAP continues

to work with the states to apply the use of this technology to the elections process.


Currently, approved technologies for voter registration, ballot request, blank ballot

delivery and voted ballot return may include fax and/or email, however there are

considerable differences among the states and territories as to which technologies are

accepted and which parts of the voting process may utilize electronic transmission. At the

present time 3 states and 1 territory do not allow any form of electronic transmission. In the

2006 general election, 7 states allowed voted ballots to be returned to election officials by

email. Additionally, the states of Washington and Florida allow registered voters to request

blank ballots by phone, and Kentucky allows phone requests for its military voters.


Electronic systems are facilitating the election process for voters and election officials

in other ways. In Michigan voters can check their registration status online and registered

voters can view their appropriate ballot. Any citizen, from any location, can access the

system without the need for digital signatures or other credentials. 24 states have similar

capabilities on their websites.


The State of Washington is using electronic ballot tracking. Available to all 39

counties, the system allows election officials to track every ballot from the time it is mailed

to the voter to the final vote tally. A list of voter names is produced at each step of the ballot

handling process and the system permanently separates and randomizes voter names from

ballot barcodes to protect voter privacy. Reports alert election officials to ballots that have

missed a step in the process. Voters can verify the status of their ballot online - when it was

mailed, when the voted ballot was received by the county, when their signature was checked,

when the ballot scanned, and when their vote was counted.


Multnomah County, Oregon, allowed UOCAVA citizens to request ballots via email

for the November 2006 general election and provided these ballots as a back-up for ballot

packages sent to them via regular mail. The emailed ballot packages included the appropriate

blank ballot, the complete text of ballot measures, a self-addressed return envelope template

to be folded and signed by the voter, along with instructions for completing and returning the

voted ballot by mail. State law does not currently allow for voted ballots to be returned by

email. Any registered UOCAVA voter could request a ballot by email, and no credentials

needed to be submitted at the time of the request. Voter registration cards are scanned and the

signatures are available electronically in the county's Election Management System. The

signature on the return envelope was compared against the electronic record to authenticate

the ballot. If the signature did not match and the discrepancy could not be explained by the

voter, the envelope was not opened and the ballot was not counted. For the 2006 election, 99

ballots were issued via email. Twenty seven of these were returned as voted ballots; more

than 50 other voters returned their original, mailed ballots. A Multnomah County election

official reported that their primary challenge was obtaining United States Postal Service

approval of the return envelope design. Once accomplished, Multnomah County assisted 4

other Oregon counties to gain envelope design approval so that they, too, could assist

UOCAVA citizens via email. The protocol was adapted from a process used in Pierce

County, Washington. Several other Washington counties provide this email ballot request

service to its UOCAVA citizens.


Also new during the 2006 election was a vote-by-phone system utilized by the states

of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Vermont. It was developed

to assist disabled voters to cast ballots independently and privately in their polling places.

The Director, FVAP, viewed a demonstration of the Vermont vote-by-phone systems for

possible future application for remote use by UOCAVA voters. In its current application, the

voter uses an identification number to access the appropriate ballot. The ballot is read over

the phone and the voter uses the telephone keypad to indicate their selection. A paper ballot

of the vote is printed at the office of the Secretary of State, providing a paper trail for

auditing purposes. At present, the system relies on dedicated land line telephone access and

will not function with cell phones and denies access to any unknown phone number. In a

post-election discussion with the FVAP, Vermont Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz

noted that they were pleased with the phone voting project and that the state would continue

its use for serving their disabled citizens in polling places but has no immediate plans for

expanding its use to other populations or venues. While limited in scope and accessibility in

2006, telephone voting remains an interesting technology, and one worth exploring for its

benefits not only to disabled voters, but to UOCAVA voters.


Although there are risks associated with voting over the internet, several states have

independently launched relatively small scale pilot programs to investigate its potential.

Certainly the accessibility of this alternative, particularly for UOCAVA citizens, merits

continued consideration. Voter participation was vigorous in these experiments, suggesting

that voters both trust the security of the internet and enjoy the convenience it provides.


Michigan allowed online voting in its Democratic presidential caucus in 2004. The

result was the second largest caucus turnout in state history; of the 164,000 total votes,

46,000 were cast online. Arizona used internet voting in its 2000 Democratic primary,

experiencing larger than usual voter participation.


The City of Honolulu offered a small scale internet voting pilot project in March 2007

for neighborhood board elections. The goal was twofold - to provide cost-effective voter

access and to increase voter turnout. Registered voters were allowed to vote from any

computer with internet access using personal identification numbers that were either mailed

to them on a printed ballot or were requested by voters on a voting website. Approximately

405,000 registered voters were eligible to participate in this internet voting pilot.


FVAP PLANS FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF ELECTRONIC VOTING
TECHNOLOGY

The FVAP anticipates that the 2008 general election will generate enormous public

and media interest, resulting in larger than usual voter participation. Presidential elections

historically garner more voter participation than that of mid-term elections, and, in recent

decades, an incumbent President, or sitting or former Vice President has almost always been

among the nominees of the Democratic or Republican parties. In 2008, it is likely that the

presidential election will be an open race, the first time since 1952 that neither a Vice

President nor sitting President will be a nominee. It is expected that UOCAVA citizens will be

eager to participate in this upcoming election and that the challenge of overcoming the

obstacles to obtaining voting materials faced by these citizens will continue. As the Director,

FVAP is charged with supporting this UOCAVA population in their voting efforts, the

Department is aggressively pursuing the development of secure electronic voting processes

with the states that will address these obstacles and help enfranchise UOCAVA voters.


Although issues of security dominate discussions of the development of electronic

voting technologies, FVAP will consider a broad range of issues as it proceeds toward the

elections of 2008 and 2010. Designing and developing a mature voting system takes a series

of election cycles. There must be enough time to gather and analyze post-election data, as

well as for training, and developing or updating the voting system to meet the requirements

of federal, state, and local election official practices. The system design must consider many

variables, including: security measures; the needs of UOCAVA voters; accessibility of the

system's technology; federal, state and local election resources and regulations; and ease of

use. As in VOI and SERVE, an incremental development, implementation and evaluation

plan should be articulated at the beginning of future projects and milestones specified for

each stage of the project.


Based on past practices and experience, recommendations for future electronic voting

projects include: working up to a large scale system starting with a small number of states or

limiting capabilities; recognizing the variation in state and local laws and procedures, and the

complexity this introduces in the development of a uniform registration and voting system;

building consensus of key stakeholders; identifying and mitigating actual and perceived risks

by educating people about risk management practices; ensuring that the system will be

testable and that those tests can be reproduced; standardizing the interfaces for the voting

systems for easier interconnectivity; developing guidelines for electronic or internet-based

registration, ballot delivery, and voting systems which maintain the integrity of the process;

and assessing methods for voter identification and authentication involving digital certificate

technologies.


In the interest of providing as many tools as possible for state and local election

officials to select from based on their states' legal requirements, the DoD believes that

multiple strategies should be developed and deployed. The process should explore the

technological tools available beyond fax and email for use in remote electronic voting,

among them touchtone telephone, text messaging, interactive television and the Internet.

Creating a system that supports multiple platforms adds significantly to the complexity of the

design and cost associated with development, testing and certification. Live election testing

should begin on a small scale and increase in scope over a series of election cycles. All

technologies should be examined for their efficacy as well as their vulnerabilities. The means

to balance the provision of electronic alternative to those who most need them with the need

for accuracy, reliability, privacy, security and transparency in the voting process, will have to

be continuously re-evaluated and adapted.


LONG RANGE STRATEGIES


The Election Assistance Commission (EAC), in conjunction with National Institute of

Standards and Technology (NIST) was assigned the task of developing electronic absentee

voting guidelines by the National Defense Authorization Act for 2005 (NDAA FY 05). In

2007, the EAC is expected to release the results of a study of Internet voting and the

transmission and receipt of absentee ballots for voters covered under UOCAVA. The study

will include a review of the practices of voting jurisdictions that use technological

alternatives to transmit or accept ballots and that may allow Internet voting, as well as a

survey of UOCAVA voters who participated in some form of electronic voting. It is hoped

that the study will effectuate further understanding of the problems and resource constraints,

as well as potential solutions to meet UOCAVA voting challenges. It is the DoD's

understanding that the results of the study will be used as a basis from which the guidelines

will be developed. The DoD is prepared to work with the EAC on the study and guideline

development. The release of the EAC recommended voting guidelines, as well as the insights

provided by the study and from follow-up conferences of state and local officials from

jurisdictions who participated in remote electronic voting will be utilized by the DoD as it

pursues its legislative mandate to carry out an electronic voting demonstration project.


Dependent on the level of security called for in the EAC and NIST guidelines, the

Department may pursue the development of an internet voting strategy mirroring the

functionality and security that were contained in its previous VOI and SERVE projects, or of

an enhanced IVAS allowing for the transmission of voted ballots. A complete internet voting

system would provide the following functions: voter identification and authentication, voter

registration, election administration, ballot delivery, voting, tabulation, and results reporting.

Based on the recommendations included in the internet voting guidelines and the final design

of the system, full development, testing and deployment would require an estimated 24 to 60

months. The successful deployment of any system also requires participation from the states

as well as the Military Services, which have many competing priorities during this time of

increased operations. Education and outreach efforts would also include local election

jurisdictions, municipalities (if required), federal agencies, and overseas citizen groups. It is

possible that a complete solution could be implemented incrementally; designed, tested and

used with capabilities and features added over the course of several general elections. The

following timeline shows the primary project tasks and the anticipated time needed for

completion. Some tasks are dependent on previous phase completion while others can run

concurrently.


Concept Development with high level requirements                           180-360 days

Communications Plan                                                                      60 days

Contracting Process                                                                        80-155 days

Design Phase                                                                                 100-200 days

Development Phase                                                                        400-700 days


Testing Phase (meeting Federal, DoD, and state security requirements) 150-230 days


ELECTRONIC VOTING PLANS FOR 2008 AND 2010


The required guidelines on electronic voting from the EAC and NIST will frame the

strategies for the eventual development of a large-scale internet voting project that will most

likely mirror the functionality and the security of the VOI and SERVE projects. The

guidelines have not yet been released and this anticipated project is several years from

inception. In the meantime, the FVAP will continue to provide voter registration, ballot

request, and ballot transmission strategies that are alternatives to the by-mail process for

UOCAVA citizens during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles. The Department will not offer

any tools that allow for voters to cast voted ballots over the internet. If any states, territories

or localities do offer such a service, the DoD will assist in publicizing the ability for the

effected voters.


For 2008 and 2010, the FVAP anticipates continuing and enhancing key elements of

its efforts from 2006. These include: an improved FVAP website which provides

consolidated information for UOCAVA voters from the 55 states and territories on electronic

transmission alternatives allowed for ballot request, and blank ballot delivery and voted

ballot return; and access to the automated FPCA for voter registration and absentee ballot

request. Additional capabilities will include a tool for automated population of the FPCA that

is mapped to specific absentee voting requirements for the 55 states and territories similar to

those developed and utilized by the DoD in the VOI project in 2000, and designed for the

2004 SERVE project. An automated version of the FPCA will assist voters while they

navigate the form, and ensure that UOCAVA citizens complete the FPCA in accordance with

their state laws and procedures. Voter error while completing the FPCA can compromise the

absentee voting process. If a local election official receives an incomplete or incorrect

FPCA, the citizen must be notified and must resubmit the FPCA. If this process is performed

entirely via regular mail, it may take weeks or months before the voter is made aware of the

mistake, and may not have enough time to resubmit the FPCA and receive a blank ballot to

complete and return by their state's election deadline.


In addition, the FVAP and the states and territories will maintain the toll-free

Electronic Transmission Service. The ETS provides thousands of UOCAVA citizens

worldwide with fax and fax-to-email alternatives to the by-mail process of absentee voting.


The FVAP will also continue to promote its legislative initiatives with the states,

encouraging the expansion of electronic alternatives for UOCAVA citizens who live and

serve in remote areas or distant places and are mobile (e.g., ships at sea, combat areas,

missionaries and Peace Corps workers).


Additional enhancements under investigation for use by the states and UOCAVA

citizens in 2008 and 2010 may include enhanced ballot tracking (to inform voters that his or

her voted ballot has been received and counted), and a function that would allow absentee

voters to check and correct, if necessary, their mailing address for voting materials. Each

functionality should satisfy the basic requirements of security, privacy, reliability, and ease

of use.


In February 2007, FVAP partnered with the DoD's Business Transformation Agency

(BTA) to structure a timeframe for the development and release of an electronic voting

solution for 2008. The first task was the release of a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit

general technological solutions from industry that satisfy three separate absentee voting

tasks: electronic voter registration, electronic ballot request, and electronic blank ballot

delivery. Solutions needed to support varying state requirements and legally allowed methods

of transmittal. The RFI did not indicate any preference of implementation in order to

encourage a wide range of methodologies. On March 1, 2007 the RFI was posted on the

Federal Business Opportunities website (www.fbo.gov) with a response date of March 30,

2007. The FVAP alerted vendors who had previously expressed an interest in working with

the Department of the RFI and directed them to the website. The RFI generated 7 responses,

all of which contained some level of applicable technology.


In June of 2007 the FVAP will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit specific

technological solutions that satisfy the Department's electronic voting requirements. The

RFP will be structured to accommodate a multi-phased development plan comprised of a

base system and 2 options. These components will be built as individual modules that could

be integrated into future expanded services which may include an internet voting system for

UOCAVA citizens.


The base system provides a voter registration and ballot request solution that is based

on the automated FPCA embedded with state-specific requirements which can be completed

by the voter and transmitted electronically or via regular mail to local election officials. It

will provide local election officials with a transparent, visible and flexible system that allows

them to manage the registration and ballot request process according to their state's legal

requirements and their available electronic infrastructure. Because voting regulations vary

enormously from state to state, the system must provide for a range of information

transmission options.


As funding permits, Option 1 will provide a blank ballot delivery system which will

be integrated with the Base voter registration/ballot request system. Option 2 will provide for

digital signature identity management for both election officials and citizen users. It may

accommodate both DoD Common Access Card digital certificates as well as comparable

certificates issued by other approved authorities, both governmental and commercial. These

digital signatures can serve as the citizen's "wet signature" on the FPCA, and as an initial

identifier for system logon.


Any system developed will allow for laboratory and live testing with all potential

users throughout the design and implementation period, as well as allowing time for

certification and accreditation for all computer and privacy related laws and government

guidance. Barring external complications, the following timeline is anticipated:


• June 2007-Release of the RFP

• August 2007-Responses to the RFP will be evaluated and a contract awarded

• December 2007-Base solution availability for implementation in time for primary
  elections

• March 2008-Option 1 delivery

• June 2008-Option 2 delivery

As each tool becomes available, the FVAP will engage the states by soliciting their

input as stakeholders and providing education and training at the state and local election

official levels. The FVAP will use national conferences, news releases, teleconferences,

letters, and other forums to gather input from, and provide information to the states, voters

and the worldwide network of Voting Assistance Officers. Additional capabilities will be

considered for 2010 based on lessons learned and evaluation of outcomes of the tools utilized

during the 2008 election cycle.

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