(Des Moines, IA) Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver said between 80 and 90 percent of the Iowans who participated in experimental “Internet voting” in Tuesday’s municipal elections want to have the option again.
“People in Iowa, those that tried it, seem ready for this possibility and I’ve said all along that I think it will be a viable option in this state and across the nation within the next 10 years,” Culver said during an interview with Radio Iowa.
Culver isn’t talking about voting at home in your pajamas as the inevitable “next step,” but he envisions having computer stations set up at precincts for Internet voting.
“This is essentially just a very high tech voting machine with on-site Internet voting,” Culver said. “The best part about it is we’re looking at potential cost saving of 40 to 50 percent because you don’t have to print any ballots. It’s all over the computer.”
Computer voting stations were set up alongside voting booths in eight precincts in Johnson and Woodbury counties for Tuesday’s election. One-third of those who cast paper ballots in those precincts cast a second, Internet ballot.
“The voters came in the booth. They voted the traditional way, with a ballot, and then they were asked if they wanted to participate in the Internet voting study and we were extremely pleased with the results.”
Culver, a 33-year-old ex-high schoolteacher and coach, said he’s still reviewing the results, but the Internet voters weren’t necessarily computer savvy.
“There were some people that tried voting yesterday on the computer, over the Internet, that really had never even been on a monitor before,” Culver said.
Culver was elected Secretary of State in 1998, a job which makes him Iowa’s Commissioner of Elections.