News

Little changes expected in online voter registration

Posted: Aug. 3, 2013 3:19 pm Updated: Aug. 17, 2013 6:15 pm

By MATT HOPF
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Voters in Illinois will have a new way to register to vote.

Illinois will be able register online after Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation into law last month.

Adams County Clerk Georgia Volm believes that county clerks have been preparing for online registration in recent years by assembling voters databases to check rolls when someone registers.

"We have the information we need available to us that when someone goes online to register, everything will come to us automatically," she said. "And then we will be using the checks we've been building in this statewide database for a number of years."

Online voter registration will start July 1, 2014.

When registering, residents will be required to have a driver's license or state ID and enter the date it was issued, as well as the last four digits of their Social Security number.

"We're using unique identifying numbers, such as Social Security or driver's license number to match with all these databases to make sure this isn't someone else," Volm said.

The clerks will know if a person is registered at another location and can move to have the person removed as an active voter. If it can't be verified that the person is eligible to vote in the county, the clerk's office could contact the person to let them know that additional documentation is needed.

With a new voter, Volm said the information would run through the statewide database and the secretary of state's office to verify the person lives at the address.

If the voter registers online without ID numbers, they will have to show an ID when they go to vote for the first time.

"If it is shown the first time only, they'll be treated just like every other voter," Volm said.

Online voter registration is already allowed in 17 states, and four other states have a modified version of online registration.

Right now in Illinois, voter registration forms are available online.

"It's really going to be the same stuff we've been doing, but now it is going to be online instead of paper," she said. "The only real difference between what we are doing now and online registration is you are going to go online and key it in. There's not going to be any paper involved."

 

-- mhopf@whig.com/221-3391

 

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