In an effort to further streamline and digitize the voter registration process, Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, has introduced legislation to allow electronic signatures on any voter registration document. These documents include applications to register, certificates authorizing the cancellation or transfer of registration and requests for provisional ballots. Manar said he was motivated by proposals from Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray to update the online registration system. The current system requires ink signatures from anyone who registers to vote. This can be done at a secretary of state driver’s facility or any local election authority. However, voter registration can be done online, which allows users to submit relevant voter information that gets cross-checked through records from the secretary of state.
Gray said that with a reliance on paper copies, digitized signatures would simplify the registration and election day operations, saving money. “It provides for us to keep a digital process for archiving purposes, which is a huge savings to us from a personnel perspective by not having to maintain hard copies,” Gray said.
The estimated cost savings for Sangamon County would be $35,000 to $40,000 annually, Gray added.
Manar’s Senate Bill 2836 also calls for a computer-based filing system for voter registration master files, which would be searchable and remain current with all registration activity conducted by the county clerk or election authority.