Boone County looks at new voting technology

Boone County is collaborating with MU and the Secretary of State to develop new voting system technologies for military and overseas voters.

By Yiqian Zhang

Boone County has received a $740,000 grant from the Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program. County Clerk Wendy Noren says the grant will be used fund research of an electronic ballot delivery system to voters, but it won’t be the equivalent of an internet voting system.

“In other words, they will have a paper ballot that they have marked, that they have verified. It will be returned through the regular mail process,” Noren said.

Dale Musser is the director of the information technology program at MU and coordinates the research project. He says MU has a great atmosphere for collaborative projects.

“MU’s role is to do the research and development that will lead to an improved voting system, so we are gonna be involved in improving the process, looking at security-related issues, and providing a supportable system that can be used in Boone County and other counties in Missouri,” Musser said.

William Harrison is director of MU center for high assurance computing and oversees cyber security research. He says this is a long-term project.

“I think we will start almost immediately, and it’s a 5-year grant. Probably the most intense part of the research will be in the first 2 or 3 years, I will say. But that’s also under development as well,” Harrison said.

Noren says state and local jurisdictions outside of Missouri will also have access to the developments.