Monday, February 10, 2014

Boise House Rep. Erpelding Wants Idaho to Offer Online Voter Registration

Posted By on Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Boise Democratic State Rep. Matt Erpelding ran into some opposition Monday morning when he unveiled his proposal for online voter registration—and his measure hadn't even come before a formal hearing yet.

"I would be willing to come back with more information when we have our first hearing," Erpelding told members of the Idaho House State Affairs Committee.

"I admire your optimism," said Republican Committee Chair Rep. Tom Loertscher.

Erpelding outlined his proposal to have the Idaho Secretary of State's office develop an online portal that is "enjoined" with the Department of Motor Vehicles, in order to verify signatures and streamline voter registration.

"This is a more secure system," Erpelding told the committee, adding that nearly 90 percent of the voting population has a driver's license. He said the process would not entirely eliminate the current paper process of voter registration applications. Erpelding is estimating that the online portal would cost nearly $300,000 to build.

Ultimately, five Republican committee members, Reps. Gayle Batt,, Vito Barbieri, Brent Crane, Joe Palmer, Shannon McMillan and Kathleen Sims all voted against Erpelding's request for a hearing on the measure. But that wasn't enough to kill the bill, as the majority of the committee agreed to move the proposal to a full hearing.

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