State Won't Have Same-Day Registration App Ready For Election

State Won't Have Same-Day Registration App Ready For Election

8:46am Oct 08, 2014

Attorneys for the State of North Carolina warned a federal judge Tuesday that they can’t make changes to the computer voter registration system in time for the election.

That means it will take a little longer to handle same-day registrations. 

Same-day registrations were eliminated when the GOP-led legislature made sweeping changes to the state’s voting law last year. As a result, state election officials stopped updating the computer application, known as SOSA,  that handled the process. But  on Oct. 1 - just three weeks before the start of early voting - a federal appeals court restored same-day registration. That’s not enough time for programmers to update the application and work out any bugs.

At a federal court appearance in Winston-Salem Tuesday, Alexander Peters, an attorney representing the state, said county workers will have to enter same-day the registration applications by hand. Steve Hines, Forsyth County’s elections director, says he’s not expecting the manual process to cause delays.

“I don’t think there will be much of a difference," he says. "We’re going to process voters whether they’re same day or just the typical voter as fast as we can at all of our sites.”

Also Tuesday, Judge Thomas Schroeder ordered the state to update its elections web site. The order came after attorneys opposed to the law argued that there’s no information on that site to inform voters about same-day registration now that it is available again.

"Let's not lose our eye on the ultimate goal, and that is the vote," Schroeder says.

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