PIERRE, SD (KELO-AM) South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant announces the new computerized military absentee ballot system iOASIS is now in full operation. The next round of South Dakota elections begin in April. The new iOASIS system is available to Gant’s overseas military constituents as they begin the voting process.
Designed to streamline (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3Im-ts6LMA) the current absentee voting process for servicemen and women, 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 and increasing security.
“iOASIS 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 South Dakota Secretary of State 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 South Dakota National Guard successfully tested the iOASIS program over 1,000 times in the United States, allowing it to be taken to the next stage of development. Its validity was further established through trial runs on overseas military installations. In early March, the Secretary and his team tested iOASIS in Germany at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Ramstein Air Force Base, US Army Garrison Weisbaden and US Army Garrison Stuttgart. The system received praise from officials across military ranks and branches for its simplicity and user-friendly operability.
The current absentee ballot system, which is largely comprised of correspondence through the mail, has been well documented as inefficient. According to the US Election Assistance Commission, 40% of uncounted ballots in 2012 derived from votes that did not make it on time due to the long, tedious process of absentee registration. This is the largest single reason for unsuccessful ballot transactions. Secretary Gant has demonstrated the potential of iOASIS to upgrade the current absentee ballot system. iOASIS, with use of the military’s Common Access Card has proven to be effective, quick, secure and efficient.
The initiative has received much attention nationwide as the first plausible solution to an unjust obstacle that has plagued the United States military for decades. Secretary of State Gant plans to present iOASIS to the United States Congress as a viable option for modernizing the entire American absentee-ballot system. In the mean time, South Dakota Secretary Gant will begin implementing iOASIS in the 2014 elections within South Dakota.
“I am honored to be part of such a historic proposal,” said Secretary of State Gant. “This is only the first step. Our goal is to establish iOASIS as the absentee-ballot program for the entire country. The current methods of voting for military members are outdated, inefficient and complicated. It is time to take military voting into the 21st century. These brave men and women deserve the same opportunity that everyone else has. They risk their lives defending our right to vote; we need to defend theirs. I believe iOASIS is the appropriate answer.”
For more information about iOASIS, view the educational video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3Im-ts6LMA&noredirect=1.
This effort is sponsored by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). The content of the information does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Government and no official Government endorsement should be inferred.