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With 'Some Hesitation,' Gov. Scott Signs Online Voter Registration Bill Into Law

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Florida will now be joining several other states in online voter registration, after Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law Friday.

Starting October 1st 2017, the bipartisan mandate creates an online voter registration system for registering first-time voters and updating existing registrations.

While it had the support of the state’s county election supervisors, Florida’s top election official Ken Detzner expressed caution on moving forward because he’s not sure election officials will have enough time to implement it. In the past, he’s said the focus should be on the 2016 election.

And, Governor Scott expressed some of that same “hesitation” in a letter when he signed the measure into law.

Still, the measure was amended to require the Division of Elections to conduct a risk assessment before implementing online voter registration, amid online security concerns. And, Secretary of State Detzner says he’s on board with that change.

“I think that was a positive addition,” said Detzner, speaking to reporters last week. “We would be doing that anyway, doing a risk assessment. So, I think it emphasizes I think the things that I have said, how important security is in doing online voter registration.”

As of December 2014, at least 20 other states offer online voter registration.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.