Friday, January 3, 2014

Moving Voter Registration into the Late 20th Century

A soon-to-be introduced bill by state Sen. David Blount (D-Jackson) opens another voter registration avenue by allowing persons to submit an online voter registration form. Bear in mind that mail-in voter registration forms have been accepted for many years now. According to an article from the Clarion-Ledger, Blount believes that there are enough safeguards in place to make online registration an extension of methods that already exist rather than setting up a new infrastructure. That hasn't stopped critics from jumping on board.

State Republican Chairman, and guy who insists his tweets be re-tweeted, Joe Nosef noted his skepticism that such online forms could be problematic. Because Obamacare, of course. Nosef seems to be off-message in his criticism. The sitting Secretary of State is a fellow Republican, mind you. Breaking the Republican Party's 11th Commandment by insinuating that Secretary Hosemann's office cannot effectively manage online voter registration is puzzling.

Speaking of Hosemann, the Secretary noted his hesitance because of possible security issues. Perhaps Hosemann does not realize what online forms his office processes. For example, businesses file online annual reports, LLC filings are submitted online, and lobbyists file their reports online through the Secretary of State's office. The infrastructure and data security is already in place yet the resistance remains.

So here's the deal: either Hosemann does not know that his office already accepts online forms for other transactions or he should simply admit that he does not want to make the voting process more efficient. His pet Voter ID project is already being implemented so that should alleviate his concerns, but much like his paranoid Republican base, that remains to be seen.

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