By Paul Gorski
I recently wrote two columns (“Meet John Doe: Online voter registration is a bad idea,” June 26-July 2 issue (http://rockrivertimes.com/2013/06/26/meet-john-doe-online-voter-registration-is-a-bad-idea/) and “Meet John Doe: Online voter registration is a bad idea, part two” July 10-16 issue) sharing my preference for in-person, face-to-face voter registration, rather than a faceless online, Internet-based process. My primary concern is voter registration fraud.
My final opinion on the matter was, per the second article, let’s just be registered automatically when we apply for a driver’s license, state ID or apply for benefits from the state. Why do we need to fill out a form if we have already provided all the necessary information in a verifiable format to the state? It streamlines the process, and isn’t “faceless.”
Well, top-notch Rock River Times editor Brandon Reid forwarded an article (http://voices.suntimes.com/early-and-often/backtalk/quinn-allows-online-voter-registration/) to me that states that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) recently signed online voter registration into law.
I find the whole faceless registration process at odds with efforts to verify identity for other “claims.” One example being Medicaid claims; “The Illinois Medicaid Redetermination Project (IMRP) will improve Medicaid integrity by validating that clients who qualify for medical benefits receive them,” from “Meet John Doe: State Medicaid expansion necessary” May 29-June 4, 2013, issue (http://rockrivertimes.com/2013/05/29/meet-john-doe-state-medicaid-expansion-necessary/).
Inconsistent government actions? What else is new.
I’d still like to see automatic voter registration at the points of contact with the state when we’re already providing the same, in-person type of data, but at least Gov. Quinn didn’t sign a bill restricting voting rights, as some states are trying to do. I’ll give him credit for that.
Thank you, Gov. Quinn, Brandon, readers Tom and John, and all others for inspiring me on this series of articles regarding online voter registration.
Please post your comments below.
Paul Gorski (http://www.paulgorski.com) is a Cherry Valley Township resident who also authors the Tech-Friendly column seen in this newspaper.
From the Aug. 7-13, 2013, issue