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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Since online voter registration started Sunday in Florida, more than 80 Alachua County residents have registered online.

Florida was the 35th state to launch online voter registration, said Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Kim Barton. She said the registration website, registertovoteflorida.gov, has been successful within the first week.

“That’s quite a few people having just launched,” Barton said. “We look forward to seeing how well it’s going to do in the future.”

The online and paper applications are nearly identical, Barton said. The online application asks additional security questions.

Seven to 10 days after the registrant completes the online application, they receive a voter information card and are eligible to vote.

“It’s easy, it’s accessible. It’s 24/7,” Barton said.

Barton said it is easier to handle applications submitted online than deciphering handwriting on a print application.

Meanwhile, Thursday on Turlington Plaza, Shreyas Amol Jethwani was still registering students on paper. The political director of UF College Democrats said his group hasn’t trained for online voter registration yet.

“With someone like Rick Scott implementing it, you have to be careful,” Jethwani, the 21-year-old UF history junior said. “We don’t want to jump into it without adequate preparation.”

Still, Jethwani feels cautiously optimistic about online registration, which he said could make registering students simpler.

“Getting people registered to vote is only half the battle, and it’s the easy half,” he said. “Regardless of how you register to vote, please register to vote.”

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