Seattle-area voters will be able to vote via smartphone

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King County to use new technology for a board of supervisors election

(Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Some voters in King County, Washington are slated to be the first to ever vote in a U.S. election via smartphone, according to NPR.

Beginning Wednesday, roughly 1.2 million eligible residents in the greater Seattle area will have until the February 11th election day to cast their votes on their smartphones or tablets.

The move is aimed to increase voter turnout in races that have historically had very little participation. The new technology will be used for the King Conservation District, a board of supervisors race that has drawn less than one percent of eligible voters. In the most recent election for the Conservation District, less than 5,000 of the 1.2 million people voted.

Voters partaking in the pilot program will be able to use their name and birthdate to log in to a web portal. Once the ballot is completed, voters will be required to verify their submissions and provide an electronic signature. Voters also have the option to print out a filled-out ballot and mail it or place in a designated ballot drop-off location.

Democracy Live, a Seattle-based non-profit, is providing the technological platform.

Critics of the program argue it is too susceptible to cyberattacks, citing the disruptions carried out by Russia in 2016 to alter the outcome of the Presidential Election.

The United States Senate Intelligence Committee urged states to “resist pushes for online voting” in a 2019 bipartisan report on the Russian election interference:

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