Sabbar: Working and voting from home

Sabbar: Working and voting from home


Last week, we discussed how technology could help you accomplish certain tasks from home.

Before I talk about working from home, as promised, let’s talk about voting.

The Wisconsin primary election will be on Tuesday, April 7. No, you can’t vote online, but you can go online to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to you up to one week before the election. See, and fill out the form at

You will need to enter your name and date of birth so it can check if you are already registered to vote. Then verify your address and select which elections you want to vote absentee.

If this is your first time requesting an absentee ballot, you will need to upload a photo of your Driver’s license or state ID.

You can either scan it or even take a photo with your phone or digital camera. You only need the front side. You can check on your status, polling place and voting history at

A lot has changed in the last week, and now, many people are being told to work from home to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Others need to work from home because of illness, child care, etc. This will depend on your job and what your employer will allow you to do. Ask your supervisor or your Human Resources office what your options might be.

There are several technologies that might help you work remotely or at least maintain greater “social distancing” even if you do need to go to work.

To work from home, you will need a computer and internet access. Many companies are providing resources such as internet access or collaborative software at reduced rates or free of cost during the pandemic. This is especially true if you have a student in your household.

The state of Wisconsin has compiled a list for its residents at

Once you have the internet, you will need to get connected to the resources you would normally use at work. Some of these may be easily available without any special considerations, such as your work email system.

More secure and sensitive systems may require you to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) program to access them. The purpose of a VPN program is to connect your computer to your company’s firewall so that those specialized systems believe that your computer is “on premise” (at the company location), and it also encrypts the communications between your computer and those systems to protect any information such as passwords or entered data while in transit.

In some cases, as remote control program may be useful so that you can control your office computer from your home computer or even an iPad that you take home with you.

Some options, from classic to new, include the following, and some have free versions you can download. These may be especially useful for small businesses. If you work for a larger company, check with your network people first to make sure that they are allowed.

TeamViewer –

GotoMyPC –

Splashtop –

Carol Sabbar is director of computer services at Carthage College. Email her at


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