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Lawmaker to push for online voter registration

JACKSON — State Sen. David Blount, a Democrat from Jackson, is drawing up a bill for the 2014 Legislature to allow online voter registration.

The Legislature convenes at noon Tuesday.

Blount told The Clarion-Ledger that he doesn’t believe there will be widespread opposition because mail-in voter registration is allowed now. Also, he said the new law requiring people to show a photo ID to vote should allay any concerns over online registration.

Voter ID will begin with the June 3 congressional primaries in Mississippi. People who don’t have acceptable photo identification after Jan. 1 can go to circuit clerk offices throughout the state to have a free photo ID made.

Although there is no statewide online voting registration, some counties, including Harrison, provide registration forms online. But the registration cannot be completed online.

As of August 2013, at least 13 states offered online registration and another six states had passed legislation to create online voter registration systems, according the Washington D.C.-based National Conference of State Legislatures.

Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef said he doesn’t know the details of Blount’s proposal, “so I can’t comment other than saying I believe our main concern would be online security.”

State Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole said the party supports Blount’s bill.

“We want every Mississippi voter to have open, accountable and user-friendly access to voter registration and voting. Integrity in voting demands that all aspects of the process be both honest and accessible,” Cole said.

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