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Voters in Washington state's largest county have until Feb. 11 to use their phones or laptops to cast ballots for the local conservation board.

Online voting for all in a Seattle area election, security concerns be damned

In a development sure to worry election security experts, the conservation district for the Seattle area is conducting this year's election on the internet.

It is the ninth election in the fifth state to use mobile voting, but the first time that method has been for everyone who casts a ballot, Tusk Philanthropies said Wednesday in announcing an agreement with officials in Washington's King County to help promote the voting. Previous uses of mobile systems have been confined to overseas, military or disabled people in the electorate.

Since Russians attempted to hack into voting systems during the 2016 presidential election, security experts have uniformly criticized any system with an online component. The most secure method for voting, they agree, involves paper ballots that no one but the voter can mark, and can then be readily recounted or used in an audit to assure the accuracy of returns.

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"The only way to reclaim our democracy and create a political system that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people is by getting big money out of politics," argues Devin Hiett.

To engage young Americans in politics, we must end Citizens United

Hiett graduated in December 2019 with degrees in international studies and journalism from the University of Oklahoma. She is a volunteer at American Promise, which advocates for amending the Constitution to regulate the raising and spending of electoral campaign funds.

Younger generations are often berated for not turning out to vote at meaningful rates, and that criticism is not totally unwarranted. In the 2016 presidential race, people between 18 and 29 made up just 13 percent of the electorate. But rather than chastising Millennials and Gen Z for not voting, we need to focus on why they aren't showing up at the polls.

Ten years after one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever, the real answer should have become abundantly clear.

In the 2018 elections alone, special-interest spending exceeded $5.7 billion. The fossil fuel industry has invested more than $2 billion in the past two decades slandering sustainable climate legislation, and the National Rifle Association has spent more than $203 million on political activities since 1998. In comparison, only half of 1 percent of Americans donate more than $10,000 in any election.

The idea that young people don't vote because they are apathetic is a fallacy. Throughout history, many of the most influential activist movements around the world have been led by young people, and this momentum has accelerated in recent years.

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Broad remake of voting procedures nationwide urged by bipartisan panel

All states should adopt automatic voter registration, expand mail-in voting and implement new auditing practices to assure the accuracy of vote counts, a bipartisan panel of election administrators proposed Thursday.

A 57-page report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, which convened a task force of officials to come up with ideas, offers 21 recommendations that cover all aspects of elections, from registration to casting and certifying ballots.

The recommendations, adopted unanimously by the nearly two dozen local and state election administrators from across the country, are intended to provide a roadmap for state legislatures to follow, said Matthew Weil, director of the BPC's effort. Lawmakers are convening in most state capitals this month for their annual sessions, so there is still time for election overhauls to be put in place before the November presidential election.

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