December 1, 2009
Election Technology Leaders Launch "The Power To MOVE"
New Solution To Help Implement Legislation
that Protects Military And Overseas Citizens' Right To Vote
Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan charitable organization, leader in technology solutions for overseas and military voters and Scytl Secure Electronic Voting (Scytl), worldwide leader in secure election modernization technologies, announced today a joint initiative, The Power to MOVE, that offers new Internet-based services to overseas and military voters, helping states complying with the gamut of new technology requirements required by the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, signed into law in October 2009 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2010.
The MOVE Act requires state election officials to provide online access to registration and ballot request forms, electronic options for blank ballot delivery, downloadable write-in ballots in case of late ballot arrival and voter status tracking services. Many of these services must be implemented by the midterm federal elections of November 2010.
These requirements, while representing a major step forward in the enfranchisement of military and overseas voters, will require a significant development investment in a highly compressed period of time on the part of all states. Together, the combined OVF and Scytl software solutions will help state election officials meet the core requirements of the MOVE Act in an expeditious, user-friendly and cost-efficient manner; in other words, it gives them The Power to MOVE.
While the MOVE Act marks a milestone in terms of automation of overseas and military voting processes, it differentiates between using technology to modernize electoral administration and Internet voting. OVF and Scytl respect this important distinction. The Power to MOVE initiative based on OVF's State Hosted System (SHS) and enhanced by Scytl's ballot administration solution Pnyx.SecureBallot (Pnyx.SB), is designed to reduce the timeframe of the voting process without deviating from the model of auditable paper balloting.
OVF's SHS program offers specialized voter service websites to the states. Each SHS provides the complete suite of OVF voter tools customized for the state including registration and ballot request, write-in ballots, help desk support, election information and express ballot return through FedEx.
On the other hand, Scytl's ballot administration system, Pnyx.SB, offers secure blank ballot delivery and voter status tracking information. The Pnyx.SB system allows election officials to assign voters to precincts and ballots to voters, which are then transmitted online or by post per voter request. In turn, individual voters can download their ballot, vote and return it, and at any point check the status of their ballot as it moves through the administrative process.
"Scytl's Pnyx.SecureBallot is a proven and reliable closed loop solution that allows for secure management of the overseas voting process. It helps both election officials and voters manage and track specific items important to them on-demand. Coupled with OVF's State Hosted System solution it gives overseas voters control in the process; it moves overseas voters from observers in a process they have had little control over, to a position where transparency and personal control are elements of their participation in the American election process," adds Hugh Gallagher, Scytl USA Managing Director.
Security takes the central role to make sure that complete and accurate ballots arrive at their destination. Scytl is providing The Power to MOVE initiative with tamper-proof security; using specialized data encryption to protect election related materials and audit mechanisms using immutable audit logs that track the exact data stored in the system to make sure it arrives intact and unchanged as well as verifying the electronic identity of the voters downloading the material.
"OVF's strength is in designing services with voters in mind. When states look for solutions that bring compliance to the MOVE Act, we hope they will think beyond the legislation to the opportunity to improve service to the voter. That's where The Power to MOVE can help the states," said Chip Levengood, OVF's Chairman.
"As for the MOVE Act and its impact, 2010 bodes well for further enabling this community of voters to successfully engage in the democratic process. In the end, this is an effort to support greater voter participation," added Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, OVF President and CEO.
About Overseas Vote Foundation (www.overseasvotefoundation.org)
Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) helps overseas and military voters participate in U.S. elections by providing public access to secure, web-based voter registration tools and services. In 2008, 4.75 million website visitors used OVF's Internet-based voter services. OVF also nurtures open and constructive discussion on the role and use of technology in overseas and military voting. OVF believes that when applied appropriately, the Internet and other new technologies can help overseas voters more rapidly than any other factor. OVF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan public charity incorporated in Delaware.
About Scytl Secure Electronic Voting (www.scytl.com)
Scytl Secure Electronic Voting (Scytl) is a worldwide leader in the electoral modernization industry. Its solutions incorporate unique security features - derived from over 15 years of pioneering R&D and protected by a portfolio of international patents - that enable election administrators and by extension, voters, to carry out all types of election related processes in a completely secure and auditable manner, ensuring voters' privacy, ballot box integrity, and voter-verifiability.