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CAMPAIGN 2000

Arizona Voters Log On to History

March 08, 2000|From Reuters

PHOENIX — With the click of a computer mouse, Arizona Democrats made history Tuesday by becoming the first Americans to use the Internet to vote in a legally binding election.

Election officials reported little trouble as Democrats statewide were allowed to log on to a special Web site, punch in their identification numbers and vote for the Democratic presidential candidate.

"We think this is very important in the future of how elections are conducted," said Cortland Coleman, the party's interim executive director. "We're setting an example for what we hope will happen across the country and the world."

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox kicked off the project at 12:01 a.m. by casting the first ballot in an election that is being closely watched here and abroad. She voted for Vice President Al Gore, she said.

The state's 823,000 registered Democrats will be able to vote over the Internet until 11:59 p.m. Friday. The more traditional polling sites will be open Saturday for electronic and paper voting.

A federal judge cleared the way for the election last week, turning down a request to stop Internet voting by the Voting Integrity Project of Arlington, Va., which charged that the online plan discriminates against the poor and minorities.

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