Online voter registration coming soon to Florida

Division of Elections launches tool October 1

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - Registering to vote in person or by mail isn't going away, but in Florida, it's the eve of a new era.

You'll be able to register to vote online on October 1.

"We're really excited for online voter registration. We think it's going to be really convenient for voters," says Gerri Kramer, a spokesperson for Hillsborough's Supervisor of Elections Office. "We have a lot of young people who don't know what a printer is much less where to find one, much less find a stamp if they have to put it in an envelope and mail it to us," adds Kramer, with only a touch of sarcasm. 

"It just makes it a lot quicker and easier and we think people are going to love it " she says.

Kramer says the state's Division of Elections is handling the launch of online registration, but says her office in Hillsborough has seen what's planned and says it should be really easy for voters to use. They will just need to a driver's license, or Florida ID, to register. And voters can access the information either through the state's website, or through an individual's county elections office.

Voting will still be done on paper, which means showing up in person or submitting votes by mail.

The change comes as Hillsborough's Supervisor of Elections Office tests their ballot machines ahead of an upcoming state house race and mayoral race in Temple Terrace next month.

Even if you're not voting in that upcoming election, you can register to vote anytime, and you're encouraged to contact your local Supervisor of Elections Office to update your personal address information any time you move.

"It's a very high-tech process and I tell you when I see this it gives me even more faith in the process that we have," says Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacey White, who is part of a commission overseeing the elections integrity process. In cases of vote discrepancy, White is part of a three-person panel who would judge a contested vote.

White has modest concerns about moving elections information to the web, but says that as long as voter information is kept safe, he is okay with the change.

"We live in a high-tech world today right?" said White to ABC Action News. "You know, I come from a generation where I'm more comfortable seeing these things play out in person but we have to accept the reality that we are in a high-tech world. The younger generation in particular is more interested in having the ability to do these types of things online," adds White.

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