Over 100 of the best public policy students from around the state of Florida will be gathering at the end of February to discuss and plan for the modernization of the state’s voter registration system. The Florida Future of Political Action Summit will take place Feb. 20-22 and is the second of its kind. Held at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida, participants will study Florida’s electronic voting registration methods, as well as how other states have modernized registration. Katie Burnett, University of Florida senior and member of the event steering committee, says they will also be equipped with the tools to organize volunteer-run committees for their own public service efforts.
“These committees, they’re run on manpower and you don’t really know how to get everybody together and make them effective,” says Burnett. “So that’s the first thing people [will] know how to do.” Burnett added this year’s theme was chosen because of its strong bipartisan support statewide — and also because of its strong security measures. Since the first online registration program opened up in 2002, no cases of fraud have been reported.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states offer Internet voter registration.
A 2011 Pew Research study showed that Arizona saved 80 cents per registration over in-person methods. It also found that in Arizona’s 2008 elections, 94% of online registrants turned out to cast ballots, compared to 85% of traditional registrants.