Gov, SOTS call for election day registration, online registration, and amendment for absentee voting

Press release  GOV. MALLOY AND SECRETARY OF THE STATE MERRILL CALL FOR PRESERVING ACCESS TO ELECTIONS  <read>

To make registration more efficient and create a more accurate voter file, proposed legislation would create web-based voter registration for Connecticut citizens who have a valid and current driver’s license; allow for Election Day registration to improve voter turnout; and call for absentee ballots to be governed by statute, which would give legislators the ability to adopt laws that address voters who cannot get to polling locations on Election Day.   The legislation would also increase penalties on any effort to block or impede voter access. 

CTVotersCount has long been in favor of Election Day Registration (EDR) and concerned with the risks of unlimited absentee voting. We also strongly support online voter registration, not to be confused with online voting which we and many others oppose.

In the past Secretary Merrill has opposed EDR. We welcome the change.

In addition to our integrity concerns with unlimited absentee voting, studies show that EDR increases turn-out, while absentee voting decreases turn-out, the stated goal behind the measures proposed in today’s press conference.

Other coverage: CTNewsJunkie (with discussion and several of my comments)  CT-N Video of Press Conference

An alternative view at CTNewsJunkie <read>

Update – see my comment and those of others in a discussion at a cross-post at MyLeftNutmeg, where I am BlastFromGlast

More details on EDR can be obtained from reports at the Elections Performance Task Force.

Elections should not primarily (no pun intended) be about convenience of election officials or selection of our government in the cheapest way possible. However, in addition to other benefits Online Voter Registration in conjunction with motor vehicles can save lots overall – the state pays a bit and the towns save a lot – the reverse of an unfunded mandate. See:
http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/li…
http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/li…

From what I have heard there are plenty of registration problems in college towns now. EDR may mean more work on election day to benefit democracy, but costs should largely be offset by less work earlier and in Presidential elections the elimination of the special Presidential ballot for those not registered.

And there are errors in our current voter registration database that have not been solved by all the time available to fix them ahead of the election. Sadly, the State does not even have a good list of polling places in each election as evidenced by errors in the polling place list used to select districts for audit – according to the previous SOTS Office the voter reg database cannot be used for an accurate list because it has errors in polling places (not just the locations, but the number in use in each town), a presumably much easier item to keep up to date then voter lists, since it is entirely under the control of local election officials.

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