Most people do just about everything online today. They pay their bills. They make hotel reservations and file their income tax returns. Now, residents can use their computers to register to vote or change their party affiliation as Florida recently joined 35 other states and the District of Columbia to offer online voter registration. Central Florida elections officials are lauding the online service as a “great tool” that will encourage more people to sign up to vote and improve the accuracy of voter rolls. “The online voter registration process has opened the door to a lot of folks who have not previously registered to vote,” said Michael Ertel, Seminole County Supervisor of Elections. “When I first registered to vote back in the late ’80s, I had to take a forward step. I had to go to the supervisor of elections office. Since that time, elections offices have come to the voters.”
He pointed to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the Motor Voter Act, as an example of the government making it easier for citizens to register. The federal law, which went into effect in 1995, requires states to offer residents a chance to register to vote when obtaining or renewing their driver’s licenses or receiving public assistance.
But not everyone is completely happy with Florida’s new online registration system, which can be found at RegistertoVoteFlorida.gov.
Anna Eskamani, an Orlando Democrat who is running for a seat in the Legislature in 2018, said state officials should have done a better job publicizing the online voter-registration website since it launched Oct. 1.