Online registration now an option for FL voters

- Florida voters have a new option when it comes to registering to vote. They can now sign up online.

The state has launched an online voter registration option on Registertovoteflorida.gov, making Florida the 35th state in the country to offer virtual registration.

The change comes just over a month before the November election. Supervisor of Elections offices across the Tampa Bay area are getting prepared.

"It's full election swing here. We've got poll workers training. We've got ballots going out. We've got early voting starting at the end of October," said Jason Latimer, Communications Director for the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections.

On Tuesday, more than 250,000 ballots were mailed out to Pinellas County voters.

Online voter registration is expected to be a more accurate voter list, according to elections officials. The website will require citizens to provide personal information, including their driver's license and the last four digits of their social security number, to prevent ineligible people from registering.

Online registration is also expected to be a more convenient option.

"It allows more voter access to the registration process with this online application as well as the paper application process," said Latimer. "RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov is designed to be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's available in both English and Spanish. It's accessible to those voters with disabilities."

It took years to pass a law in the state of Florida allowing online voter registration. Some lawmakers questioned if the system would be safe from hackers and cybersecurity issues.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner released a statement trying to ease safety concerns. It read in part:

"RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov has multiple safeguards in place to verify and protect a person's identity and personal information, including a state-of-the-art firewall, data encryption, captcha boxes, session time-out after inactivity and the use of multi-screens."

According to Detzner, a voter's information will be verified in real-time on the website. If someone tries to submit fake information, the system would catch it, and they would not be able to submit the application.
Detzner's statement also read that data will not be stored on the website. It will be transmitted to an internal system.

Online registration for Floridians took effect on Sunday, October 1.

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