At the dawn of what promises to be a busy and potentially volatile election year in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration reports good progress in implementing a new system of online voter registration by 2017. The report raises familiar concerns that electronic voter registration could increase the possibility of fraud or identity theft and says the state will require “adequate and enhanced security protocols.” The Legislature last spring passed a bill allowing OVR by October of 2017, appropriated $1.8 million for the first stage, and ordered the Division of Elections to produce a progress report by Jan. 1. The 16-page report, sent to House and Senate leaders on New Year’s Eve, promises “timely and successful implementation” of the system by working in conjunction with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and all 67 county election supervisors.
A person who registerss to vote submits a Florida driver’s license of state ID card for verification, and the highway safety agency database verifies the person’s identity. But the report iincludes this warning: “A challenge uncovered during the course of discovery for the OVR system is that algorithms for generating a driver license number or state identification card number are readily available on the Internet. That information in conjunction with other publicly available information, such as name and date of birth, could facilitate online fraud.”