Gov. Cuomo has announced that NY state residents with a valid license or identification card can now register to vote through the MyDMV website. The original problem with online registration was how to handle voters’ signatures. But, when the DMV database is linked to a state’s voter registration database residents who already have a digital version of their signature on file at the DMV — thanks to obtaining a driver’s license or other state ID — are all set; when they show up to the polls and sign in before entering a ballot box, their signature is checked against a copy of the record taken from the DMV. When fully implemented, voter applications will be transferred electronically via XML and PDF to county boards of election, eliminating the need for manual data entry associated with paper application forms.
The online registration initiative was suggested in June as part of NY state Senator Michael Gianaris and Assembly Brian Kavanagh’s Voter Empowerment Act of New York, meant to rise NY from its current 47th place in state voter registration.