Starting today, Wisconsin residents who want to register to vote – or to update their registration information – can get the process started online via the Voter Public Access site!
A new link (Register to Vote) on the Voter Public Access site appeared today, allowing for online registration they are calling “Click and Mail”. People can now fill out their registration forms online, essentially entering themselves into the Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) in a pending status, print off the completed registration form, then finalize the registration with the required documentation (e.g. ID) at their local clerk’s office or at the polling place on election day. Clerks with access to the SVRS can pull up a person’s pending registration the next day, and complete the process lickety-split. I had no idea this was coming but I think it sounds awesome!
(there’s always a “but”…)
…the GAB doesn’t want to tell the public about it until after the August 14th primary (and recall) election(s). In the memo posted to clerks on August 3, 2012 (New “Click and Mail” Voter Registration Available August 6, 2012), Nathaniel E. Robinson, the Elections Division Administrator at the GAB, stated this:
“While Click and Mail is being made available to the public on August 6, note that we do not plan to announce or promote Click and Mail until after the August election and after the upcoming training session…”
With the reasons being:
“This strategy is intended to give clerks time to familiarize themselves with the new processes...
“We also wanted to alleviate any confusion that could result from Click and Mail being launched during the Late Registration period…”
“…we wanted to provide as much time as possible for clerks to become comfortable with the system before we launch our public outreach campaign on this new registration functionality.”
And I get that. I really do. So why make the site go live during the late registration period and only 3 days after posting the step-by-step training manual on the GAB site? Why tentatively
plan the training for after the actual implementation of the system? Why say in the memo to the clerks, “Clerks can begin using Click and Mail for the August Election if they would like to.” And why, for crying out loud, post anything about this “secret project” on the web for the whole world to see and access if they don’t want the whole world to see and access it???
These games make my head spin!