The Florida House is expected to take up a voter registration bill, which has the blessing of Florida’s 67 County Supervisors of Elections. Online registration is already in 20 states, with another four getting ready to implement it. Under the bill, HB 7143, the state Division of Elections would be required to develop a secure website that could be used to register first-time voters and update existing voter registrations. A companion bill in the Senate is sponsored by Democrat Jeff Clemens from Lake Worth. “It works, and not only is it more secure, but it saves us money, and I think that’s a big thing when we’re talking about having to spend money on voting machines and trying to make our process better,” said Clemens.
If online registration passes, Clemens says it’s very possible that we’ll see online voting in our lifetimes. “But there are some security concerns and things we’ve got to iron out,” Clemens said. “It’s going to be a few years before we get to that.”
Escambia County’s David Stafford, a past president of the Florida Association of County Elections Supervisors, says online voter registration is one of their top priorities in this legislative session. Currently, one wishing to register can complete an online application, which is transmitted to the supervisor of elections. But the applicant must then print out the document, sign it, and mail it to the elections office.