While in town to honor a longtime Ross County Board of Elections worker for his service, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted told the Gazette he plans to ask the General Assembly for the authority to create a process for online voter registration. Voters can change their addresses online at the Secretary of State’s website, but Husted said he hopes to have online registration available in the near future. “It is more inexpensive — more cost-effective, I should say — and more secure if we can register people electronically rather than with the old paper-based system,” Husted said. “We can save between 50 cents and $1 per voter for registration and when you can electronically validate them, you can ensure that only the people that should be legally registered are actually voting.” Husted said he plans to ask the General Assembly for the authority to create the system and, if approved, he anticipates it could be turned around in six months. Husted also said other election-related innovations such as allowing everyone the opportunity to vote early via absentee ballot by mail or in local board of elections offices have proven popular with voters.
“Early voting, I think, is here to stay in Ohio, but I think there is a lot of debate about how long (a time before an election it) should be and how much it costs, and maybe adjusting that time period so we can save some costs while still providing an ample amount of time for voters to cast their ballots,” he said.
Husted struck down the possibility of Internet voting, saying he thought the concept was “far off in the future.”
“Not only is the technology, security, not ready yet in my view, but voters don’t trust that system,” he said. “They have a lot of anxiety over the idea that it could be corrupted.” Until such problems can be resolved, Husted said he thinks electronic voting won’t occur anytime soon.