October 6, 2004
A record number of Arizonans clicked and tapped their way Monday to being able to vote next month.
Figures released Tuesday by the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office show 21,100 people submitted voter registration electronically on the last day to sign up to be able to cast a ballot on Nov. 2. Deputy secretary of state Kevin Tyne said that dwarfed the previous one-day record of 4,831, set on the last day to register for this year’s September primary.
Tyne said the record is not surprising, given that Internet voter registration was not possible before July 2002. What occurred Monday, though, proves the popularity of being able to sign up to vote from the comfort of one’s own home or office, he said.
Overall, more than 32,300 people registered online in just the first four days of October. That compares with 44,472 in all of September.
How many people actually are qualified to cast ballots next month will not be known for about two weeks. Each of the state’s 15 counties continues to count the actual registration requests submitted on paper.
The online system is part of the Internet system set up to let Arizonans renew their vehicle registrations and get duplicate driver’s licenses by computer. One option now available permits voter registration.
Not everyone, however, is eligible. Only those people who already have an Arizona-issued driver’s license or identification card can use this process.
And not even all of these people are eligible.
To qualify, the applicant must have a driver’s license or ID card issued since August 1996. That is when the state began taking, and storing, electronic copies of not only pictures but also signatures.
Tyne said that electronic signature is the legal equivalent of one made in pen and ink.
He said it is sent to the applicable county recorder’s office so it can be filed and compared with signatures made when someone shows up to vote or casts an early ballot.