- While reliable online voting will likely never be a reality for all voters, most states permit voters in the military and those who live overseas to vote remotely.
- In 2020, 32 states will allow some or all overseas and military voters to return their ballots digitally via fax, email, and in a few states, with an online portal.
- Electronic transmission can give military voters serving in remote areas with spotty mail delivery a better chance of having their votes counted, but also raises numerous security concerns.
- One expert told Business Insider that online ballot transmission leaves voters with little option to verify that their choices were counted accurately and also increases the risk of malware attacks on elections officials.
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Reliable online voting for everyone will, in all likelihood, never be a reality, experts say. But in 2020, many states give military and overseas voters the option to transmit their absentee ballots online.
Members of the Armed Services and their families, diplomats, and private United States citizens living abroad all have the right to vote absentee in federal elections under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), a law first passed in the 1980s and further expanded with the MOVE Act, which was passed by Congress in 2009.
Voters covered under UOCAVA have the option to request a ballot for every election in a given year, have that ballot mailed to them no later than 45 days before the election, return it without needing to pay postage, and also have access to a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot that they can fill out if they don’t receive the requested ballot in time.
And while all voters are required to mail their ballots by Election Day, most states also give overseas and military voters