Measures improving accuracy, efficiency of state elections approved

Mike Seals - March 4, 2021 11:19 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate has given approval to two measures that would improve the accuracy and efficiency of state elections. Senate Bills 710 and 712 are authored by state Sen. Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher.

SB 710 would authorize the Secretary of the State Election Board to join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a multi-state partnership that uses data-matching tools to enhance the accuracy of voter registration lists. Through ERIC, member states can securely share information from voter registration systems, motor vehicle databases, death records and postal records, which assists states in identifying voters who have moved, passed away or changed their name.

The measure would also allow the State Election Board to share data with ERIC, send notifications about Oklahoma’s voter registration to eligible citizens not yet registered, and notify voters about the need to update their address for voter registration purposes.

Thirty states are already members of ERIC, including Texas, Missouri, Colorado and New Mexico.

“Oklahoma already has one of the best election systems in the nation, but these measures will further strengthen and modernize that system,” Jech said. “It’s important that we maintain an accurate voter database and encourage eligible voters to participate in our election process. Joining ERIC would benefit all Oklahoma voters by ensuring our elections are safe, accurate, and everyone who wishes to participate is able.”

SB 712 would authorize the State Election Board to purchase and use electronic pollbooks to check-in voters at the polls. This would allow voters to be verified and signed in electronically, creating a more efficient process.

“Using electronic polls reduces the risk that a voter is issued the wrong ballot or signs the wrong line on the precinct registry, not to mention creates an efficiency for all voters at the polls,” Jech said. “By utilizing this technology, voters who try to check-in at the wrong polling place can be more efficiently directed to their correct polling place, reducing confusion, frustration and the need for provisional ballots.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), at least 36 states already use electronic pollbooks.

Both measures were requested by the State Election Board and will now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration where Rep. Carl Newton, R-Cherokee, is the House principal author.

For more information, contact:
Sen. Darcy Jech at 405-521-5545 or email [email protected]

 

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