Arizona Makes Voting History

FRAMINGHAM (03/13/2000) - Beginning Tuesday, voters in the Arizona presidential primary were able to go to the Internet to post their choice -- Vice President Al Gore or former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley -- and they did so with record results. According to Garden City, N.Y.-based Inc., 25,000 of Arizona's 825,000 registered Democrats had voted online as of Thursday; online voting in the election continued through today.

Only 12,800 Democrats voted in the 1996 Arizona presidential primary.

But the online rush was hit with at least one technical glitch. People using 2-year-old or older versions of Netscape Navigator were unable to vote because their browsers didn't process digital certificates, said Joe Mohen, CEO of, which set up the system that uses certificate and encryption technology from VeriSign Inc. in Mountain View, Calif. and the Arizona Democratic Party both denied a published report that the glitch was related to the year 2000 problem.

Despite the browser snag, Arizona's online voting experience was a success, Mohen said. "We've raised the level of integrity and security in the voting process and brought more people into the voting process," he said.

John McCarthy, an analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., said online voting faces other obstacles, such as authentication.

"It's naivete to think online will increase voting participation. It's not how you vote, but it's how interested you (are) to vote," McCarthy said.

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