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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Electronic Voting Services for Overseas Military Pass House

South Dakotans serving in the military overseas only need the governor’s signature before they can register to vote and request ballots electronically. Senate Bill 34 applies to individuals covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. These individuals will use their Common Access Cards to gain access securely to the system. Opponents to the measure worry that allowing the electronic process will make it more susceptible to fraud. But Representative Christine Erickson argues it’s completely safe.

“This is technology that has been tested over and over. It’s the same security used to access military bases, submarines, aircraft carriers, login or access the military computer network to update personal information. It’s been tested well over a thousand times across the bases in South Dakota already. Let’s make sure that our service men and women have the opportunity to vote in a timely manner as they’re protecting our freedoms,” Erickson says.

Other supporters say the electronic process can be completed in about five minutes, while the current process of mailing paperwork between the county auditors and service members takes many weeks. Overseas individuals will still have to print off their ballot and mail it for submission.