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State allowing groups to conduct digital voter registration drives

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Posted at 1:04 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 14:34:19-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of State is allowing groups to run voter registration drives digitally amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Related: All Michigan voters will get an application to vote by mail for August & November elections

The state is now allowing civic groups and other organizations to register voters and connect their electronic program to the online voter registration system through an application programming interface which allows data to be transferred securely.

Related: Trump threatens to withhold Michigan funding after state's decision to mail absentee ballot applications

“Civic groups and other organizations that conduct voter registration drives are doing important work to drive engagement in the democratic process,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a release. “Giving them access to another tool that allows them to conduct that work efficiently and securely streamlines the process while reducing waste and saving money.”

Normally, voter registration drives are a paper-based process, but things are changing in the pandemic. Organizations interested in using the API to register voters can do so after completing a security review and working to ensure compatibility with the state's platform.

Related: Michigan Secretary of State offers correction to President Trump's tweet on 'absentee ballots'
Voters must still provide all information, including a driver's license number and the last four digital of the social security number.

Organizations interested in using the API or a URL should contact the Bureau of Elections at elections@michigan.gov.

Last week, the state also announced voters in Michigan can apply for an absentee ballot online. That came after announcing the department of state would mail applications to all voters in Michigan.