Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver said between 80 and 90percent of the Iowans who participated in experimental “Internet voting” inTuesday’s municipal elections want to have the option again.”People in Iowa, those that tried it, seem ready for this possibility andI’ve said all along that I think it will be a viable option in this stateand across the nation within the next 10 years,” Culver said during aninterview 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 precinctsfor Internet voting.”This is essentially just a very high tech voting machine with on-siteInternet voting,” Culver said. “The best part about it is we’re looking atpotential cost saving of 40 to 50 percent because you don’t have to printany ballots. It’s all over the computer.”Computer voting stations were set up alongside voting booths in eightprecincts 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 aballot, and then they were asked if they wanted to participate in theInternet voting study and we were extremely pleased with the results.”Culver, a 33 year old ex-high school teacher and coach, said he’s stillreviewing the results, but the Internet voters weren’t necessarily computersavvy.”There were some people that tried voting yesterday on the computer, overthe Internet, that really had never even been on a monitor before,” Culversaid.Culver was elected Secretary of State in 1998, a job which makes him Iowa’sCommissioner of Elections.
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