Pentagon may lift voting site blockade

    Date21 Sep 2004
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    The U.S. Defense Department said Tuesday that it's trying to find a way to permit American expatriates to connect to an absentee voting site that has been cordoned off because of the risk of hackers. . . . Internet users in large portions of the world have been blocked from connecting to the voting assistance Web site, which tells absentee voters how to cast ballots in the November election. The list of Internet providers that appear to be blocked includes British Telecom, Wanadoo, Telefonica and China Telecom.

    "We're aware of the problem, and we're working on a solution," Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke said. "We hope to have a fix in place as soon as possible."

    Krenke said that overseas Internet providers are blocked when U.S. government computers detect "any type of probing" coming from their network. She said that for now, U.S. voters can obtain the necessary forms directly from their state election officials or from a U.S. embassy.

    The Web site in question is called the Federal Voting Assistance Program and is operated by the Pentagon. It provides information to expatriates and U.S. military members about how to register to vote and request absentee ballots, but does not permit actual online voting.

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