CSG PRESS RELEASE: CSG Releases Best Practice Reports for Improving Military and Overseas Voting Through Technology
CSG PRESS RELEASE
Dec. 18, 2017
CSG Releases Best Practice Reports for Improving Military and Overseas Voting Through Technology
LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Council of State Governments convened its final meeting of the organization’s CSG Overseas Voting Initiative, or OVI, in Las Vegas last week culminating with a presentation to CSG’s national membership and the release of two major reports that detail best practices and associated case study materials resulting from the past three years of research by CSG, and its Technology Working Group, on ways technology can potentially advance military and overseas voting.
The CSG OVI was formed between CSG and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program, or FVAP. The two organizations entered into a multi-year cooperative agreement to improve the research and understanding surrounding the complex nature of the voting process for service members, their families and U.S. citizens living abroad.
A slate of CSG OVI working group members—state and local election officials—joined CSG and FVAP leaders as well as the Nevada secretary of state to discuss the significant work of the OVI throughout the past several years on Saturday, Dec. 16. After program overviews from CSG OVI Director Kamanzi Kalisa and FVAP Director David Beirne, Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske gave a welcome from the state of Nevada and expressed her view on the importance of work done to aid military and overseas voters. Comments from the working group members in each of the OVI’s key focus areas also gave remarks:
- David Stafford, Supervisor of Elections, Escambia County, Florida – CSG OVI Policy Working Group
- Technology Working Group Overview – Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County, California – CSG OVI Technology Working Group
- Veronica Degraffenreid, Elections Preparation & Support Manager, North Carolina State Board of Elections – CSG OVI EAVS Section B Working Group
“We are so pleased to have hosted this session with our working group members in attendance with our CSG membership,” Kalisa said. “Many active duty military personnel are located in remote areas abroad and have limited access to state voting information and, in some cases, their ballot. Our collective work, in collaboration with our working group members and FVAP, allowed us to research ways to assist this unique group of voters. I could not be prouder of the work that was accomplished by the dedicated group of state and local election officials who worked with CSG on this very important initiative."
In addition to Saturday’s presentation to CSG membership at the CSG National Conference in Las Vegas, the CSG OVI Technology Working Group released two comprehensive reports in culmination of its work:
- Using Technology to Enhance Military & Overseas Voting Vol. 1: Recommendations for Use of the Common Access Cards and Digital Signature Verification & Unreadable or Damaged Ballot Duplication Methods
- Using Technology to Enhance Military & Overseas Voting Vol. 2: Recommendations for Use of Data Standardization and Performance Metrics
The CSG OVI Technology Working Group was created to consider the role of technology in the UOCAVA voting process and to determine how technology can be used to improve UOCAVA voting. States have long been innovators in the use of technology in elections and identifying and disseminating best practices has long been a strength of CSG, and this working group built upon the work being done in many states. The CSG OVI Technology Working Group members identified areas to explore—that are reflected in these reports—based on the increased use of electronic blank ballot delivery within the election community as a result of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment, or MOVE, Act. In response, the CSG OVI Technology Working Group formed three subgroups to address three core areas: duplication methods for unreadable/damaged ballots, potential uses of digital signatures originating from Common Access Cards, and using data standardization and performance metric methodologies to inform policy decisions for the improvement of military and overseas voting.
"We are appreciative of the tremendous time and energy each of our working group members has given to this effort, in addition to our collaborative relationship with CSG. Simply put, FVAP and CSG relied heavily on the expertise of election officials to develop actionable recommendations that can only improve the absentee voting experiences for our military, their families and overseas citizens," Beirne said. "From its initial pursuit of policy recommendations for enhanced customer service to the most recent technology recommendations, these working groups have produced results that resonate and will yield impacts for years to come."
Additional information about the CSG Overseas Voting Initiative can be found at www.csg.org/ovi.
Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.
The Council of State Governments Overseas Voting Initiative
Working Group Members
CSG OVI Policy Working Group:
- Jim Condos, Secretary of State, Vermont
- Lance Gough, Executive Director, Board of Election Commissioners, Chicago, Illinois
- Jon A. Husted, Secretary of State, Ohio
- Keith Ingram, Director of Elections, Texas
- Kevin Kennedy, Director and General Counsel, Government Accountability Board (Retired)
- Tammy Patrick, Senior Advisor for Elections, Democracy Fund
- Gary Poser, Director of Elections, Minnesota
- David Stafford (Co-Chair), Supervisor of Elections, Escambia County, Florida
- Michael Vu, Registrar of Voters, San Diego County, California
- Kim Wyman (Chair), Secretary of State, Washington
CSG OVI Technology Working Group:
- Marci Andino, Executive Director, South Carolina State Election Commission
- Lori Augino, Director of Elections, Washington Office of the Secretary of State
- Thomas Connolly, Director of Election Operations, New York State Board of Elections
- Robert Giles, Director of Elections, New Jersey Department of State
- Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County, California
- Paul Lux, Supervisor of Elections, Okaloosa County, Florida
- Amber McReynolds, Director of Elections, City and County of Denver, Colorado
- Donald Palmer (Auxiliary Member), Democracy Project Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center
- Stan Stanart, County Clerk, Harris County, Texas
- Justus Wendland, HAVA Administrator, Nevada Office of the Secretary of State
CSG OVI EAVS Section B Working Group:
- Lynn Bailey, Supervisor of Elections, Richmond County, Georgia
- Edgardo Cortes, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Elections
- Veronica Degraffenreid, Elections Preparation & Support Manager, North Carolina State Board of Elections
- Keith Ingram, Director of Elections, Office of the Texas Secretary of State,
- Michele McNulty, Election Administrator Principal, Office of Minnesota Secretary of State
- Lauri Ealom, Director, Kansas City, Missouri Board of Elections
- Aaron Nevarez, Intergovernmental Relations Liaison, Office of the Registrar of Voters, Los Angeles County, California
- Noah Praetz, Director of Elections, Cook County, Illinois
- Hilary Rudy, Deputy Director of Elections, Colorado, David Stafford, Supervisor of Elections, Escambia County, Florida
- Russell Terry, Voter Engagement Advocate, Oregon Elections Division
- Linda von Nessi, Clerk, Essex County Board of Elections, New Jersey
- Sandi Wesolowski, City Clerk, Franklin, Wisconsin