NAS Live Blogging #1

Session Two: Midrange solutions.

We started by reviewing the California Vote Reg system. Comments were made by Bruce McPherson, past SoS of California, Lee Kercher, Chief of IT for the California SoS, and Dean Logan, Acting County Clerk of LA County, CA.

The main takeaway from these first three discussants are these:

1) California is BIG
2) California is COMPLICATED
3) California is COSTLY

As a result, all three officials are skeptical of a one-size fits all voter registration solution for California. Dean makes this point most effectively, describing the severe linguistic challenges he faces in processing registration applications in LA.

Bruce also notes that he worries about online registration system because you can lose the signature, something he describes as vital to verifying voter identification.

The second group consists of John Lindback, state director of elections in Oregon, and Annette Newingham, Chief Elections Officer in Lane County, OR.

Not a lot here, since John spent the morning session (which I missed) describing the situation in Oregon. John handed off to Annette, who again provided the local official viewpoint, which I have to say is skeptical, echoing the comments from the California officials.

While she constantly lauded Oregon’s statewide system, she stressed how complicated the voter reg system is at the local level, involving many different forms from many different sources and filled out with widely varying degrees of accuracy.

Annette’s takeaway point: focus less on the statewide systems and focus a lot more on the forms and on the voters.

Next up is Washington. Looks like Paul MIller, the chief technology office for the SoS, is unable to make it. Get well soon! Not a lot of new information from Washington, other than more comments about how difficult it is to process the rapid changes of addresses.