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Del Mar Can Accept Votes Via Internet

SAN DIEGO (CN) - Del Mar can conduct an online poll of residents today, a state judge ruled Friday, rejecting a claim that it's an illegal election through an unapproved process.

The advisory election, or poll, will ask voters to choose one of three plans for a new Civic Center, also known as the City Hall/Town Hall Project. Only Del Mar voters will be allowed to vote.

A resident sued the city on Jan. 29, claiming the voting system "has not been certified by the California Secretary of State," and that the City Council did not give final approval for it until its Jan. 20 meeting. Plaintiff Edward Mohns also sued Everyone Counts Inc., a San Diego company that got the contract to set up the Internet voting system.

But Superior Court Judge Eddie Sturgeon on Friday found that Mohns could not prove he would be harmed if the poll is conducted.

Del Mar, pop. 44,000, 20 miles north of San Diego, is a wealthy community best known for its racetrack. Residents can vote by Internet-connected computers, tablets and smartphones. Everyone Counts will also provide tablets for public use. The company will use proprietary software and will count the votes via its own servers.

The city will make computers available for voting, and voters will have use a unique password that Del Mar mailed to each registered voter. They also will need a secondary identifier, such as birthdate or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

The contract allows Everyone Counts to conduct up to two more advisory elections in the next 12 months.

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