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Utah lauded for online voter registration

Published October 26, 2011 7:56 am

Politics • But activists ask why online petitions aren't allowed.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Lieutenant Governor's office has been recognized by a national technology group for its online voter registration program.

"Voter registration is one of the most beneficial services the State of Utah can offer online," said Gov. Gary Herbert. "It makes political participation easier and saves the taxpayer dollars."

Utah launched its online voter registration program last year, allowing citizens to register online to vote, or update their address or party affiliation. So far, 18,000 voters have used the site, according to the lieutenant governor's office.

The Center for Digital Government announced the winners of the Digital Government Achievement Awards last month.

But Steve Maxfield said the lieutenant governor's office hasn't gone nearly far enough.

Maxfield helped sue the lieutenant governor's office last year after it refused to accept digital signatures to put an independent gubernatorial candidate on the ballot. The Utah Supreme Court ruled that the candidate be allowed on the ballot.

Maxfield has also been pushing the office to accept online signatures for initiative and referendum petitions, but the lieutenant governor's office has refused.

"They say one thing but their actions are completely erroneous when it goes to signatures for the citizen process," Maxfield said. "It isn't that we don't have the capabilities to accept online signatures. They just don't want to accept them."

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