State Senator Proposes Voter Registration Upgrade

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Jackson, Miss.
State Sen. David Blount is proposing an upgrade to the voter registration system in Mississippi.

“We need to get away from mailing paper back and forth through the mail and we ought to do stuff online," said Blount. "Because the fundamental principle is the more people who are involved in our democracy, the better our government will be.”

There's currently the option to go to the local circuit clerk's office or print out a form on the secretary of state's website. But you can't submit it online.

“It's just not the way business is conducted in the 21st century,” Blount said.

He says a few clicks could streamline the process.

“It saves money because there's someone down at the courthouse that doesn't have to re-enter the information that you provided on a piece of paper,” said Blount.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says he hasn't seen the proposal but he has serious concerns regarding the security of online voter registration. Yet Blount says there would be built-in checks and balances.

“There's no potential for fraud when the current law requires someone to show ID when they go vote,” said Blount.

The National Conference of State Legislators says that as of August 2013, thirteen states offered registration on the web. Six other states have passed legislation but haven't implemented it yet.

Supporters say it's an option that could appeal to younger voters.

“I know that given the chance, that I would've registered online,” said voter Kim Pigott.

Pigott says she doesn't see the harm in putting another option on the table.

“As long as there's a voter ID at the polls that has to be actually shown I think that would take care of any problems with online registration,” said Pigott.

Blount's proposal would also include the option for early voting at courthouses and day-of-election registration.