July 29, 2009 By Chad Vander Veen
Photo: Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh/Photo courtesy of Kansas Secretary of State
While digital elections still may be out of reach for most, this week Kansas joined several states that have taken steps to digitize some of the voting process.
According to The Topeka Capital-Journal, any Kansan who has a valid driver's license now can register online to vote. The system unites the secretary of state's voter registration system with the Department of Revenue's driver's license database using software from Election Systems & Software.
"An online voter registration application is the next step in making the traditional elections process easier, faster and cheaper. As technology continues to change and evolve, it is important that we implement strategies that will allow the citizens of Kansas to register in a way that is most convenient to them, without sacrificing the security and uniformity that sets our elections system apart," Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh said in an agency news release.
To complete the registration process, voters must visit either Vote Kansas or the Kansas Department of Revenue Web site and fill out a questionnaire. The standard questions of age, citizenship and felony convictions appear first, followed by a page on which to enter a valid Kansas driver's license or nondriver's identification card number.
Per Kansas law, first-time voters will still need to present identification at their polling place even if they've registered online. And, of course, traditional registration methods are still available.
According to The Topeka Capital-Journal, Kansas Department of Revenue Secretary Joan Wagnon described the new tool as a "labor of love" and pledged to rid the state of paper processes wherever he could.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.