Thursday, July 5, 2012

California counties are waiting for software from the Secretary of State to proceed with online voter registration

Election officials in several California counties today told Etopia News that they are planning to offer online voter registration to their citizens, as soon as the requisite software from the California Secretary of State’s office is available.

Their views differed on when that would be, ranging from before “mid-August” to “October.”

Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said that the anticipated online voter registration system would be an “interim fix” that would “not need the VoteCal system” in order to work.  The VoteCal system is a state-wide voter registration data base required under the federal Help America Vote Act that is not expected to be in place until 2015.

Mr. Kelley said that the software needed to implement the process was already in “the testing phase” and could be ready to go by “mid-August, or sooner.”

He said that the online voter registration would be offered through the Secretary of State’s website and that Orange County citizens could use it “as soon as the state finishes the programming.”

This view was shared by Ventura County Registrar of Voters Mark Lunn, who said that “the Secretary of State is the mothership” in the process.  “We’re on-track to comply.  We want to do it.  We’re on track to implement it.  The counties have to be plugged in.  We’re ready to go as soon as the Secretary of State is ready to implement.”

Elma Rosas, spokesperson for the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters says the system should be “ready-to-go in September or October.”  She said that Santa Clara would proceed “as soon as the infrastructure is in place.”

Melvin Briones, Assistant Registrar of Voters in Marin County, also said his department was “waiting for the Secretary of State.”

Rebecca Spencer, Assistant Registrar of Voters in Riverside County, said that “the Secretary of State is taking the lead” on the online voter registration process and that that office expects the system to “go live in September, 2012.”

Cecilia Gomez Reyes, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder, originally told Etopia News that she expected the system to be up and running by August, but then modified her view to say that she now expected it to go live in September, 2012.

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