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The District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics Announces Public Test of Digital Vote by Mail Service

The Board of Elections and Ethics today announced that the public examination phase of the Digital Vote by Mail pilot project for overseas voters will begin on Friday, September 24.

Digital Vote by Mail is a first-in-the-nation use of open source technology to provide a secure means for overseas voters to obtain, print and mail their ballot – and, if the voter chooses, also digitally mark and return their ballot. After testing is completed, the service will be made available to overseas voters, who often do not have enough time to receive and return their ballot by mail in the few weeks between the September primary and the November general election. Prior to Digital Vote by Mail, the only option for these voters was to sacrifice the secrecy of their ballot by using e-mail or fax.

During the test period, which will continue through Thursday, September 30, individuals who wish test and comment on the technology and usability of the application will be granted access to the application, a complete system architectural diagram, and access to the underlying source code.

A limited number of test credentials will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning on Friday morning. Using these test credentials, a tester may log in as a fictitious District voter and request, complete and submit an absentee ballot. The Board will compile all test ballots and test the decoding software and back office processes needed to accept and process digitally transmitted ballots. The Board asks testers to thoroughly test the system and disclose any security, programmatic, usability or other functional or design issues they discover in the testing process. All data, hardware and software are logically and physically segregated from all other Board systems. Users will not be held liable for damage resulting from good faith efforts at testing system integrity.

For more information or to submit a request for test credentials, visit www.dcboee.us/DVM.

The District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics is the independent agency of the District government responsible for the administration of elections, ballot access and voter registration.

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