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South Dakota testing voting system in Germany

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Pierre, SD (KELO-AM) South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant leaves for Germany to test new voting technology on U.S. military installations ahead of the next round of 2014 elections. The Secretary of State and his team will visit U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden and surrounding bases to assess the overseas performance of South Dakota’s new system, called iOASIS.

Designed to streamline the current absentee voting process for servicemen and women, South Dakota’s Innovative Overseas Absentee-Balloting System (iOASIS) combines advanced technology and the Common Access Card (CAC) issued by the Department of Defense. The new system increases the percentage of ballots successfully returned by dramatically reducing the paperwork while increasing security.

“The iOASIS program is based on a concept of simplicity. These voters will now be able to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, receive an absentee ballot and mark an absentee ballot in seconds. The ballot is then printed and returned for counting,” said Secretary Gant. “This is only possible by utilizing the security of the Common Access Card for validation to verify our overseas voters and turn a 60-day process into a less than 5-minute transaction.”

The iOASIS program has been successfully tested nearly 1,000 times in the United States and has proven effective; it is quick, secure and efficient. To further establish its validity, Secretary Gant must demonstrate its performance outside the country. The trial run of iOASIS in Germany functions as the next crucial step.

The South Dakota team will set up in USAG Wiesbaden and document military men and women utilizing iOASIS. This process will be repeated on nearby US military installations to show consistency with the system. The whole operation will be filmed and presented to the United States Congress and Senate as a viable option for modernizing the entire American absentee-ballot system. South Dakota Secretary Gant will begin implementing iOASIS in the 2014 elections for his state.

“While the current focus is the integration of iOASIS into the South Dakota voting system,” said Secretary Gant, “This is only the first step. Our goal is to take iOASIS to every state and establish it as the absentee-ballot program for the whole country. The current methods of voting for military members are out dated and inefficient. Our brave military members deserve the same opportunity that everyone else has. They risk their lives defending our right to vote. We need to defend theirs", said Gant.

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