State Online Voter Registration Will Not Be Ready For 2020 Elections
The state's online voter registration system will not be ready for the 2020 presidential election.
It's been five years since the legislature voted to allow an online system.
The election board has made several improvements to their website in recent years. You can look up your polling place, change your address, even change your political affiliation. But to go on and actually register to vote that probably won't happen until sometime in 2021.
Back in 2015 in an effort to increase voter turnout the legislature passed a law allowing the state election board to establish online voter registration. Former state Senator, now Mayor, David Holt was the bill's author.
“That was a big triumph to get the legislature to embrace the idea of letting voters register to vote online,” said Holt on Wednesday.
Back then he hoped the system would be up and running by the 2016 presidential election.
“That didn’t happen and along came 2018 and that didn’t happen. Now here comes 2020 and it looks like it’s not going to be ready yet,” he said. “There’s no question that’s disappointing.”
Election board Secretary Paul Zirax was in office when the bill was passed, and he said he pushed for its passage.
“I don’t think you’ll find a bigger advocate for online voter registration than Paul Zirax in the state of Oklahoma,” he said.
But he said for security reasons and to prevent fraud they have to be able to interface with the Department of Public Safety's driver’s license system. But DPS is currently in a huge modernization project, related to Real ID, that won't be complete until April.
“I will put security ahead of convenience any time because I think it’s important to protect our elections,” said Zirax.
Zirax said they are also about to launch and online wizard that will allow you to fill out the voter registration application online, but you still will have to print it out and mail it into them.