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April 4, 2003

AEA 2003 Election Ballots To Be Mailed on April 7, 2003 election.com Activates Secure Website for Electronic Voting

On April 7, 2003, Actors' Equity will become the first actors' entertainment union to offer online voting when the 2003 election ballots are sent to eligible Equity members. At the same time that the paper ballots are being distributed, election.com, an internationally-recognized election services company, will activate a secure website for electronic voting.

According to Mary Lou Westerfield, Equity's Executive Assistant for Policy, the mailed ballot will include instructions on how to log-on to election.com's secure website. "election.com will have an Equity-only section that lists the candidates and their statements - exactly the same information that appears on the paper ballot. Members who choose to vote electronically will use their member number (which appears on their membership card), along with their personal log-in number (which appears on the instructions with the paper ballot) in order to access the Equity-only portion of the election website."

"This is truly a first," said Equity's Executive Director Alan Eisenberg, who added that he is very excited about the prospects for electronic voting, citing increased participation and decreased costs. "Studies show that voting participation increases if voters are given easy, alternative ways to cast their ballots. E-balloting will enhance the democratic process."

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