Just A Click Away

By Richard Nelson

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August 23, 2015

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There are not many things that a person cannot do these days through the internet. Bills can be paid, jobs can be applied for, and groceries can even be bought without ever leaving the comforts of home. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grendel Grimes would like to add registering to vote to that list of online possibilities. Kentucky already allows members of the military and those living overseas to register via the internet, and 21 other states already allow their voters to register online. The process is not without it concerns, as detractors have stressed the increased possibility of voter fraud, but the bipartisan State Board of Elections has said voter fraud has not arisen in any of the other states which have already adopted the practice. Online voter registration would carry approximately $45,000 in implementation costs, but could actually save county clerks offices as much as $100,000. The state Republican-led Senate did not take up a bill to establish an electronic voter registration system during its last session, but a vote may not even be necessary, as an administrative regulation does not have to be approved by the full legislature. The Interim Joint Committee on State Government will take up the issue August 26, so it may not be much longer before Kentuckians can point and click their way to voting privileges.

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center