by Matt Evans
Military personnel deployed overseas and in combat zones can use e-mail to vote. The upcoming general election will be the first time people in the military can cast their votes for the next president using e-mail. So far, the program has been well received.
“Anything that makes it easier and more convenient for our military overseas voters to vote is certainly a positive development,” said Stacie Temple, communications director for Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.
Military personnel overseas can still cast their ballots through the absentee system, but it can take up to three weeks for people in the military to receive the ballot and another three weeks to send them back.
Randy Watson voted in elections when he was stationed overseas and he said it could be difficult to get the ballots back in time before the election.
“Back then you had to mail it in. You had to mail it back to your election authority. With mail from overseas, you’re talking approximately three weeks to get it back. So you have to make sure your timing is right,” said Watson, who is now a state voting assistance officer with the Missouri National Guard.
Military personnel can cast their ballots using the secure e-mail and then follow the ballot until the local election authority confirms it got the e-mail. Only personnel deployed in combat situations are eligible for e-mail voting.