Since the 2000 election there have been a number of experiments using e-mail, facsimile, and Internet technologies to address the time, distance, and mobility barriers that make overseas voting difficult. While there are pros and cons associated with each of these methods, they can all provide some reduction in ballot transit time between voters and election officials. However, despite the millions of dollars expended, none of these experiments has led to any lasting improvement in the overseas voting process.
Operation BRAVO Foundation will select and operate its experiments with the objective of generating information to assist election officials in evaluating and developing effective ways of serving overseas voters. All knowledge gained and information developed in the course of planning, implementing, and operating projects will be made available to federal, state, and local election officials and policy-makers. Project results will be presented at professional meetings and other appropriate venues for discussion and critique.
All projects will include an assessment of the practical feasibility and scalability of the overseas absentee voting method used. They will generate objective, experience-based, and practical information about how various methods work and their effectiveness in improving the voting process. The experiments will be structured as models that can be replicated by any local election jurisdiction in the country. The service delivery approaches examined will build directly on current local and state procedures and infrastructure. Project implementation plans, procedures manuals, and other documentation will be developed as templates that other jurisdictions can adapt to suit their particular state and local processes and procedures.
The Foundation believes there are a number of feasible technical approaches for improving overseas absentee voting. Some solutions may be more suitable than others given the particular circumstances of various jurisdictions. It is a key precept of the Foundation’s operating principles that all projects must be carried out in partnership with state and/or local election officials. These are the persons responsible for running elections and making decisions about election processes and systems. The Operation BRAVO Foundation will assist these officials to plan, develop and implement projects aimed at improving the voting success rate for overseas voters in their jurisdictions.