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CT Residents Can Now Register To Vote Online

by Christine Stuart | Feb 18, 2014 3:13pm
(8) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2014, Election Policy

Christine Stuart photo

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill

State officials launched a new website Tuesday that allows Connecticut residents, with a valid driver’s license, to register to vote online.

“It is all of our jobs to help make it easier for people to register to vote and increase our access to democracy,” Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said at a Capitol press conference announcing the launch of the new site.

There are an estimated 200,000 Connecticut residents with driver’s licenses who are not registered to vote, Merrill said.

The new system created by PCC Technology of Bloomfield will check the information the voter enters into the system against their signature on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The registration then gets sent to the local registrar of voters, who needs to accept it and verify it before a voter is certified to vote in a specific municipality.

Melissa Russell, president of the Registrar of Voters Association in Connecticut, said getting to Hartford from Bethlehem in the snow was more difficult than gathering the online registration information. She said the new system sends her an email confirmation that she verifies. She then sends a letter to the voter to let them know their registration was accepted.

Joe Singh of PCC Technology said the system is safe and secure. He said his company has built similar systems for about 11 states and has never had a problem. The website cost the state $330,000.

But Merrill stressed that it’s more than an online system because it relies on verification by local election officials.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who won a first term in 2010 by 6,404 votes, knows more than most that every vote counts.

Malloy has not said whether he will seek re-election, but he was happy to pose for pictures with the two young college students changing their voter registration as part of Tuesday’s demonstration. When part of the online registration of Lisette Rodriguez was blocked from a projection screen to protect her personal information, Malloy joked that he wanted to see her party affiliation.

Christine Stuart photo Connecticut does not allow online voting, but it does allow a person to register to vote and vote on the same day. An estimated 2,900 voters took advantage of Election Day Registration in the 2013 municipal election last November. But since Merrill does not certify local election results, it’s still unclear exactly how many voters may have used that option to vote.

Merrill’s office had preliminary voter results this year about a week after the election, but it was unable to report the Election Day Registration votes until mid-January.

Still, one day after the November election, Malloy and Merrill were touting Election Day Registration as a success.

“The results coming in sometimes come by police car,” Merrill said. “We still have a long way to go in terms of our results reporting.”

She said the online voter registration will help create more accurate lists. Election result reporting has been a little bit more of a tough sell to local election officials, who have complained about the technology and having to enter the information into the system along with several paper forms required by the state. Reporting election results online is still completely voluntary for local election officials even though the state is trying to encourage its use.

For state and federal elections, Merrill said they will field test their election results reporting system in 2014.

“It takes a long time to break habits in Connecticut,” Merrill said.

The online voter registration system is the second step in a package of election reforms approved in 2012. The first was Election Day Registration.

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(8) Comments

posted by: art vandelay | February 18, 2014  3:40pm

art vandelay

Might as well just open up Connecticut elections to everyone in the world with some sort of identification. Whatever happened to integrity in the voting process.  I guess it went out the window as was demonstrated in in Toni Harps recent election as mayor.  A Harp supporter took it upon himself to hire a few stretch limos, fill them with liquor, and rounded up people for free rides to the polls.  This is what Connecticut elections have come to.  How pathetic.

posted by: ASTANVET | February 18, 2014  4:00pm

It is clear to me that in our state, and in our country there is a certian party that wants to ensure there is never a fair and just election for any future elections.  Voting is one of our most guarded freedoms and is a benefit of citizenship.  To participate in our process of selecting representative government.  Why would we want to grant that special right to any/everyone who is or is not a citizen.  Why do we want to open it up to the world wide web?  What in the heck is wrong with people?  Are there no more benefits to citizenship or consequences for crimes?  There is a hard push to let fellons vote - what could possibly go wrong??!!! This administration, these people are directly leading to our destruction!

posted by: Bluecoat | February 18, 2014  7:22pm

How soon before Voting Kiosks show up right next to Keno Machines or Marijuana Dispensing Facilities?
Toke and Vote!
The new State Democrat Motto!

posted by: StanMuzyk | February 18, 2014  7:33pm

Nationally and within the state—the Democratic Party has no code of honor. The end justifies the means.
“We are being buried with the type of voters who vote for a living”—‘thanks to our false Democratic prosperity’—“who have created and exploited this type of voter for their own politIcal exploitation of ALL THE PEOPLE.

posted by: Lawrence | February 18, 2014  8:54pm

More right wing fear and ignorance in these comments, I see; is there anything else?

Same-day voter registration was your big bugaboo last year; it went fine, with voters registering in the same percentages they already represent around the state. You even picked up 40 GOP voters in Greenwich, same number who registered to vote in Hartford.

Stop fearing real democracy. Embrace it!

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | February 19, 2014  6:58am

DrHunterSThompson

Bluecoat!  Toke and Vote!

The Doctor loves it!  Twist one up blueboy, keep’em comin!

HST

posted by: jim black | February 19, 2014  8:51am

Let the fraud begin. Wait, it began in Bridgeport 2010.

posted by: dano860 | February 19, 2014  10:24am

It still boils down to the verification process at the polls. In many towns they have far to many locations for voting. These towns depend upon volunteers to staff the polls and when a small town has three or four locations it becomes real tough filling all of those positions. A majority of the volunteers are senior citizens and a day that lasts from 6a- 8p is a long one for them.
Getting a younger staff and fewer locations will go toward better voter verification, faster results and reduced cost to the town.