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"EVERY CITIZEN IS A VOTER" - Diary of a Fundraiser

Day 23 - From the Desk of US Vote Board Member Mark Ritchie, Minnesota Secretary of State (2007-2015)

Dear Readers,  

Many years ago there was a small group of very dedicated U.S. citizens scattered around the globe that wanted to make it easier for other Americans living abroad to vote from anywhere on the planet. Voting is both a right and, as I would argue endlessly as Minnesota’s Secretary of State, a responsibility of citizens everywhere. And so, these passionate souls working to make overseas voting a more routine matter made me very happy.

When I retired from my Secretary of State position it became possible for me to give back to the folks at Overseas Vote by getting involved as a Board Member and being part of the branding transition to U.S. Vote Foundation. I am proud to serve in this capacity and to be part of the transformation that is taking place right now within our organization and more broadly in the civic engagement community.

But we need your help to keep this train moving forward. We need your social media skills to get the word out farther and faster about all of our great tools and services. And we need your financial support - small and large - to keep the organization strong and cutting edge.

The Key to Powerful Voting Apps: Good, Curated Election Data

NEW! Civic Data API and Hosted Systems Website Goes Live

US Vote’s new Civic Data and Hosted Systems Products and Services website welcomes civic tech developers, voter outreach organizations, and elections specialists to review and request API access to the data sets and systems that US Vote offers.

The US Vote data sets include Election Dates and Deadlines, State Voting Requirements, Local Election Official Contact data, and Voting Methods and Options. The new site also presents US Vote’s custom Hosted Systems Solutions, most widely used for overseas voter outreach.

LOCelections - A New Initiative of U.S. Vote Foundation

LOCelections logo

Fixing the Problem of Low Voter Turnout in US Local Elections: A Data-driven Solution

New LOCelections Whitepaper Now Available

Early in 2016, U.S. Vote Foundation began a research and development effort into the area of local elections dates and deadlines information. We examined how best to create the nation's first reliable and comprehensive local elections database resource. The effort in now being developed into a full-scale initiative for the foundation, and an extension of our Civic Data and API offering. The new LOCelections Whitepaper discusses the challenge of low voter turnout in local elections and presents US Vote's rationale and strategy for this new initiative.

Demystifying Disability

Creating better outreach and access for voters with disabilities

By Genya Coulter, Twitter Goddess and Guest Blogger for U.S. Vote Foundation

According to the American Association of Persons With Disabilities (AADP), 35.4 million people living with a disability were eligible to vote in 2016. That’s about one sixth of all eligible voters. If you add in those of us who are family members or caregivers, that total jumps to 62.7 million eligible voters. Organizations created for and by the disabled have done a spectacular job fighting against discrimination, barriers to physical  access, and plain old stigma and patronizing attitudes. In honor of their hard work and National Disability Voter Registration Week, here’s a practical guide for the election community to better serve a diverse and growing population of voters.

From the Battlefield to the Voting Booth

Ideas on how best to serve disabled veterans

By Genya Coulter, Twitter Goddess and Guest Blogger for U.S. Vote Foundation

Members of the Armed Forces understand that putting duty and country before all else requires sacrifice. For those returning from service with some form of disability, their sacrifices and that of their families follow them daily. Some have lost limbs, some are paralyzed, and many have experienced traumatic brain injuries and PTSD. Others experience hearing or vision loss. Even if a service member has voted overseas with the help of Overseas Vote or the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), sometimes voter registration and voting get put on the back burner during the process of creating a new normal stateside.

While the provisions set forth in the Help America Vote Act of 2002 ushered in many new voting accomodations for veterans living with disabilities, there is still room for improvement. Where can the election community make a positive and lasting difference for disabled American vets, present and future?

Discover "My Voter Account" - Your Personal Democracy App

NEW! Discover integrated news content from America's most respected non-partisan political fact-checking site, Factcheck.org.



Get your voting and election information all in one place. Your Voter Account moves with you, stays with you and informs you. It is your personal democracy app.


Create your Voter Account and begin experiencing the MVA service today! Create Voter Account

Can I Vote Absentee? - Get the Widget Today!


Are you wondering: "Can I Vote Absentee?"

Instantly access the answer in one click from U.S. Vote Foundation!

Your voice matters - your vote counts. Don't let the fact that you might not be able to get to the polls stop you from voting. Make it easy with absentee voting! Get your ballot sent to your mailbox and access the convenience of 'vote-by-mail' starting today.

Use the CIVA widget to answer to the question – Can I Vote Absentee? and then access your state's absentee ballot request form. Try it now with the live widget on this page - select your state and you're on your way!

Embed the widget in your own site, post a link to the widget on your social media pages, or read more: www.usvotefoundation.org/can-i-vote-absentee

Press Releases

Christopher M. Thomas Joins U.S. Vote Foundation Executive Board

WASHINGTON D.C., May 30, 2017 – U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) proudly announces Christopher M. Thomas as a new member of its Executive Board. The announcement is in anticipation of Mr. Thomas’ retirement from his post as Director of Elections for the Michigan Secretary of State at the end of June 2017.

“With the insights and expertise I have gained in my work at the Michigan Bureau of Elections and with the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, I fully intend to continue to contribute to initiatives that foster increased participation in elections at every level of government in the United States”, stated Mr. Thomas.

U.S. Vote Foundation Announces Kevin J. Kennedy as New Board Member

WASHINGTON DC, March 1, 2017  -- U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) announced today that Kevin J. Kennedy, former Director and General Counsel for the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, has joined its board of directors.

Mr. Kennedy served for 33 years as Wisconsin’s Chief Election Official, 1983 to 2016. No other individual served longer in that capacity. Under his leadership, Wisconsin was consistently recognized as a leader and innovator in the administration of elections, lobbying and campaign finance.

“My first priority with US Vote will be to support its expansion into the arena of local elections data across the country. It’s exciting to be part of an organization that has spearheaded so many positive innovations in elections and I look forward to working toward its mission,” stated Mr. Kennedy.

U.S. Vote Foundation to Tackle a Nationwide Data Problem

New Local Elections Data Resource and API

NEW YORK, NY, January 18, 2017 – U.S. Vote Foundation’s (US Vote) twelve year investment in development of its election data and API technology will be used to address a vast and unmanaged data challenge: Local Election Dates and Deadlines. The announcement was released at the Knight-Civic Hall Symposium on Tech, Politics and the Media.

“Ask anyone if they know the date of their next local election and what it is about, or how to find out? They cannot tell you. People are not participating in the elections that direct affect the quality of their lives. We are poised to unlock this data and fix that problem,” states Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, US Vote’s President and CEO.

A Knight Foundation Prototype Fund grant for “Local Election Dates and Deadlines (LEDD) Data Resource and API” served to kick-start the program.

US Vote Announces 2016 Election Day Voter Experience Survey Highlights

January 16, 2017 - The 2016 Election Day Voter Experience Survey, conducted by U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) together with its Overseas Vote initiative from Nov 8-11, 2016, provides new insights into approximately 12,000 voters’ actual experiences of casting a ballot (or not) through six different voting methods, both domestic and overseas.

Highlights / Key Findings

Among the many new insights, certain findings stood out:

  • Satisfaction and Motivation – 76% of all respondents indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the voting process; and in a rating from 1 to 5, with 5 highest, overall voter motivation was 4.6%
  • Online Ballot Delivery Dominates for Overseas Voters – For the first time ever in a general election, overseas absentee voters in the 2016 election were more likely to receive their blank ballots through an electronic method (72%) than through postal mail

Consensus Reached on Recommendations Toward the Future of Internet Voting

 U.S. Vote Foundation Releases New System Requirements, Specifications, Architecture and
Cryptographic Foundations for End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting 

July 10, 2015 – Today’s release of The Future of Voting: End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting Specification and Feasibility Assessment Study by U.S. Vote Foundation establishes a new reference for the security, usability and transparency requirements essential to the U.S. in any consideration of Internet voting for public elections. The announcement was made at the Annual Summer Conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State, hosted this year in Portland, Maine.

Developed by a team of the nation’s leading experts in election integrity, election administration, high-assurance systems engineering, and cryptography, the report starts from the premise that public elections in the U.S. are a matter of national security. The authors assert that Internet voting systems must be transparent and designed to run in a manner that embraces the constructs of end-to-end verifiability – a property missing from existing Internet voting systems.

An end-to-end verifiable (E2E-V) voting system allows voters to 1) check that the system recorded their votes correctly; 2) check that the system included their votes in the final tally; 3) count the recorded votes and double-check the announced outcome of the election.  An Internet voting system that is end-to-end verifiable is an E2E-VIV system. The new set of system specifications that could eventually lead to a model E2E-VIV system includes an ideal cryptographic foundation, security, audit, and usability considerations, as well as technical approaches to the system architecture.

View Your State Voting Requirements & Election Deadlines