In the photo (left to right are Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Rep. William Lamberth (R-Cottontown), Sen. Yager, Gov. Haslam, House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga), Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Tennessee Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins
NASHVILLE – Legislation sponsored by Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) providing for the establishment of an online voter registration system is among a number of bills set to go into effect on Friday, July 1. Under the new statute, voters with an unexpired driver’s license or personal identification card issued by the Department of Safety may go to an official state website where they can register to vote online.
The bill was recently highlighted by Governor Bill Haslam at a ceremony marking his signing of the new law.
“In an electronic age, it makes sense to provide electronic registration if we have proper safeguards and validation steps,” said Senator Yager. “This legislation provides those assurances to make voter registration more convenient for Tennesseans and hopefully encourages more citizens to participate in the election process.”
The voter registration application will be reviewed electronically. If the request is confirmed to be valid, the new registration is added to the state’s voter registration list after being reviewed by the respective county election commission office. The validation step is done by comparing the information on the online registration form against the information provided by the same individual when he or she received a driver’s license or state-issued identification card.
The signature already on record with the state becomes the signature on record for voting. If the information does not match, applicants are directed to print and complete the application and mail it to the county election commission office in their county of residence to be processed.
Thirty-one states plus the District of Columbia offer online registration and another six states have passed legislation to create online voter registration systems but have not yet implemented them.