Bellows: New voter registration system should be ready for 2024 election
Maine will replace its 15-year-old central voter registration system in the coming year.
The state finalized a new contract with a vendor last week, and Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said the new system should be up and running in time for the 2024 election.
“It will have some features that Maine didn’t have before, like online voter registration, a voter search portal to be able to verify that your registration is accurate,” she said during a Tuesday interview. interview on Maine Calling.
The new system will also facilitate mail-in and in-person voting, and it will track mail-in ballot requests and voter turnout, Bellows’ office said.
New England-based Stonewall Solutions won the tender for the contract, worth around $1.8 million.
Federal funds will partially pay for the project, Bellows said. Maine will receive $1 million from the latest federal budget for election technology upgrades.
The new voter registration platform will be customized to fit Maine’s election laws. Stonewall Solutions has implemented similar voter registration systems in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Beyond online voter registration, Mainers may soon have the ability to book an appointment online for service at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
“Imagine if you could go online, make an appointment at the BMV, get a text message confirmation like I do from my dentist, go at the appointed time, get in and out in 15 minutes, and go about your business,” said Bellows said. .
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is currently testing such a system, and Bellows said it should be ready this summer.
She hopes the online platform will shorten long lines at BMV, especially at branches in southern Maine.
“We had a few challenges,” Bellows said. “Even though the Bangor branch is the busiest, those lines aren’t that bad sometimes. Portland and Kennebunk can, my goodness, really be saved.”
The state is also exploring an online lien and title system and other ways to accept more documents electronically, Bellows said.