Dec 10, 2009
House bills will allow residents to register to vote online
LANSING – House Democrats continue to eliminate barriers to voting and make it easier for residents to register to vote and to discharge their duty as U.S. citizens and vote.
On Wednesday the House Ethics and Elections Committee took testimony on two bills that will allow residents to register to vote online. As more people go online to pay bills, pay their taxes and get their news, this is a natural. The committee took testimony on House Bills 4539 and 4540, and they are expected to vote them out to the full House floor next week.
Thanks to House Democrats, Michigan is again becoming a leader in removing barriers to vote. If the bill becomes law, Michigan would follow Arizona and Washington as just the third state in the nation offering online voter registration. Michigan was one of the first states to adopt motor voter registration.
If approved, a person who was not registered to vote at the address where he or she was residing could submit a voter registration application electronically on the website. A person who submitted an application electronically would have to do all of the following:
Attest to the truth of the information provided on the voter registration application by affirmatively accepting the information as true.
Affirmatively assent to the use of his or her most recent digitized signature if captured or reproduced by the Secretary of State.
Sign the voter registration application with an electronic signature.
Amendments to enhance security are expected, but the bills have the support of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, Michigan Townships Association and Michigan Association of County Clerks.
The legislation, however, faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled Senate, and forward looking bill designed to make it easier for people to vote have been met with silence in that chamber, even though they have the backing municipal clerks and the Republican Secretary of State.
Bills sent over from the House so far include no reason absentee voting, early voting and allowing 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote.