Over the weekend, I learned about an online voter registration code released by the DNC that can be used on virtually any website to allow people to register to vote. The site I visited to check it out showed that it (the code) was sponsored by “Obama for America”, so I trusted it would produce exactly what is needed to register. Unfortunately, it did not. I found that, as with mailers I had received from third-party groups trying to promote (or twart?) voter registration, the form it produced did not provide all of the information that the Wisconsin voter registration form (GAB-131) provides, and it also gave the wrong address for mailing the completed form and documentation.
Disheartened by this, I decided to check out some of the other online voter applications I’d seen around the web to see if they were any more or less accurate than the applications I’d received in the mail. I was gravely disappointed. Below are summaries of what I found from the 6 online registration sites I tried:
http://gottaregister.com/ - the Dem’s version of online registration. Does not provide the correct from with all of the required information, and gives the wrong mailing address to mail registration (the former SEB on Main Street in Madison).
http://www.iwanttovote.com/ - charges a fee ($9.95), requires party selection, requires race, requires ID number. They mail a “kit” to you in 10-14 days. Do not know if forms are accurate
http://registertovote/ - run by American Crossroads, requires you accept the FB app, and gives wrong mailing address to mail registration (the former SEB on Main Street in Madison).
http://www.triggerthevote.org/... - run by NRA Freedom Action Foundation, supporting 2nd amendment rights. Does not provide the correct form with all of the required information, and gives the wrong mailing address to mail registration (gives GAB street address) (Note: an online ad for this site features Chuck Norris.)
http://www.rockthevote.com – Does not provide the correct form with all of the required information, and gives the wrong mailing address to mail registration (gives GAB P.O. box address)
http://championthevote.com/- provides links to 6 sites for online voter registration, each of which takes you to http://pioneersolutionsinc.com and which does not provide the correct form with all of the required information, and gives the wrong mailing address to mail registration (gives GAB street address). One of the sites linked to this one, RegisterOne, boasts that it’s used by www.PersonhoodUSA.com.
Clearly, online voter registration sites aren’t very accurate in terms of ensuring that you are submitting the correct forms with the correct information – and to the correct address – at least, for Wisconsin. For this reason, I think it’s important to get the word out that the best place for a Wisconsin resident to register to vote online is on the Government Accountability Board’s Voter Public Access site.
While I haven’t tried this site myself (because I’m already in the statewide voter registration database), I will endorse the use of this site for the plain and simple facts that it was created FOR Wisconsin’s citizens and it dumps the entered information directly into the SVRS – the official Statewide Voter Registration System (aka, database). People who use the online registration process will already be in the system when they take (or mail in) their completed forms and documentation to verify residency, and clerks will need only pull up a given person’s record and update it for that person to be registered.
The problem is, the GAB is delaying a public announce the online registration application, even though it’s up and running and ready to get people registered. Therefore, it’s up to us – the people – to spread the word that it’s out there and can be used. People who need to register, or update their registration, can go online FOR FREE, and do so on the VPA site. They will still need to print off the required registration form, but it will be properly filled out, and the clerks will be able to finalize registration in a snap. To me, it makes no sense to do it anywhere else.