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South Dakota Secretary of State Secures Technology to Improve Military Voting

South Dakota Secretary of State Secures Technology to Improve Military Voting

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant announces a solution to address a national problem that servicemen and women overseas experience in casting a ballot.  South Dakota’s new system revolutionizes absentee voting by combining advanced technology and the Common Access Card (CAC) issued by the Department of Defense. The new system called Innovative Overseas Absentee-Balloting System (iOASIS) increases the percentage of ballots successfully returned by dramatically reducing the paperwork while increasing security.

“The iOASIS program is based on a concept of simplicity.  These voters will now be able to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, receive an absentee ballot and mark an absentee ballot in seconds. The ballot is then printed and returned for counting,” said Secretary Gant. “This is only possible by utilizing the security of the Common Access Card for validation to verify our overseas voters and turn a 60-day process into a less than 5-minute transaction.”

The iOASIS program has been successfully tested nearly 1,000 times with the assistance of the South Dakota National Guard.  It increases the percentage of successful ballots; reduces the failure rates (such as blank absentee ballot delivery, absentee ballot tabulation, absentee ballot return verification); and establishes and maintains techniques and best practices of election officials and their services for these voters.  The iOASIS program will be launched in 2014 elections.

“An integral part of iOASIS is the new state of the art election management system that has streamlined the voting process in South Dakota. This system guarantees the security, efficiency and accuracy when validating the absentee process for overseas voters in real time. The critical component is the addition of the Common Access Card which verifies and authenticates the identity of the voter,” said Secretary Gant.

Secretary Gant said, “I am proud to play a part in correcting the injustice that servicemen and women experience in their ballots not being counted.  They deserve the same opportunity that everyone else has.  They risk their lives defending our right to vote.  We need to defend theirs.”

This effort is sponsored by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP).  The content of the information does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Government and no official Government endorsement should be inferred.