Jul 04 2015
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The Llano County Commissioners Court adopted a Resolution in support of Online Voter Registration at its January 26, 2015 meeting, and urged the Texas Legislature to enact authorization for Texans to exercise the option of registering to vote by electronic means. Llano County Elections Administrator, Cindy Ware, stipulated that the measure would need to conform to security requirements of the Texas Secretary of State and the Department of Public Safety. President John Oldham and other TAEA officials from throughout Texas heard resoundingly from elections and voter registration officials who supported this additional measure that provides another option for streamlining voter registration. If the 84th Texas Legislature approves a bill to add online voter registration, it could be effected as early as September 2015. There are already 24 states that have authorized their citizenry to register to vote through online systems. "Online voter registration is a viable option for many reasons, including the fact that online systems have proven to be more secure, dramatically lower costs, are more accurate and, for many voters, easier to access," explained Ware.
Statewide elections and voter registration officials maintain the current process for registering to vote on paper applications in Texas is inefficient, expensive and error-ridden, and Voter Registrars are required to distribute, receive, decipher, process, and archive millions of voter registration cards each year. Ware also stated other benefits for the Texas Legislature to consider in adopting legislation to effect the addition of online registration:
*Online voter registration would enable state and local Voter Registrars to dramatically reduce mailing and data entry costs. (A study by the Arizona Online Voter Registration System determined their costs were lowered from .83-cents per card to .03-cents);
*Texas has one of the lowest voter registration rates in the nation, and Online Voter Registration would provide another viable option for citizens to register;
*The Secretary of State would continue to reimburse counties the same amount for voter registration cards processed electronically or by paper;
*Online voter registration offers individuals an additional option to paper voter registration applications; and,
The TAEA plan would limit online registration to those voters who already had a Texas driver's license or Identification card and whose signature is already on file with the Texas Department of Public Safety. In addition, the plan would also require new registrants to enter the driver's license audit number, which is unique to each individual.
"The online option is also particularly useful to voters who move from one Texas County to another and must submit a new registration." Currently voters can transfer their registration within a county, but not from county to county.