College students and others who plan to register more than two dozen new voters for the November election will need to go through special training before they can.
That’s because of a change this year in state law, which also requires those who conduct voter registration drives to sign up with the State Board of Elections or local election offices.
The new law requires those who plan to obtain 25 or more voter registration applications to learn about best practices, privacy laws, prohibited activities, and deadlines.
State Elections Secretary Donald Palmer says lawmakers have been concerned about registration problems that disenfranchise people, such as forms that never make it to registrars.
“And educating the people that are engaged in taking an application with all of that sensitive information, and telling them that this is important and there are some rules that you need to understand, we find that that will make sure everybody gets on the rolls in a timely manner.”
The State Board of Elections has begun in-person training, with more sessions scheduled this month and next. Palmer says crucial components include recent changes in state law.
“For example, the General Assembly passed a law that basically said you can’t pre-populate it unless it’s at the direction of the voter. The General Assembly also reduced the time that you can keep this form from 15 days to 10 days.”
Local registrars will also conduct training. And the Board recently launched a convenient ON-LINE course with certification upon completion.