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For Immediate Release: March 1, 2012

GOVERNOR O’MALLEY ANNOUNCES NEW ELECTRONIC MOTOR VOTER APPLICATION SYSTEM

New System Provides Marylanders A More Efficient Way To Register To Vote
By The March 13th Deadline For The Primary Election 
GLEN BURNIE, MD – As part of the O’Malley Administration’s ongoing effort to improve efficiency and customer service, Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) is kicking off its first electronic Motor Voter application system.  The new electronic system replaces an inefficient paper system.  Under the new system, Marylanders, who are applying for a driver’s license or a Maryland identification card, will have the option to complete their Motor Voter application electronically at the same time.  Residents can apply electronically to register to vote or to change their existing voter registration through this MVA application process.  

“With MVA handling 70 percent of all new Maryland voter registrations, this new electronic system is crucial to offering Marylanders a convenient and effective way to ensure they are properly registered to vote,” said Governor O’Malley.  “I applaud MVA and the State Board of Elections for working together as partners to make this new Motor Voter system a reality.”

Governor O’Malley and his StateStat team worked closely with MVA to look at Delaware and nationwide to build the best electronic Motor Voter system available. Now that the electronic system is up and running, StateStat is monitoring the new Motor Voter System and tracking registration data to ensure the system is working as efficiently as possible.

“We looked at best practices and made improvements to create what we believe will become a model for other state agencies,” said MVA Administrator John Kuo.  “Because MVA touches so many lives in Maryland, we are constantly looking at ways to improve upon the customer service we provide.  This is a prime example of how technology is helping us to achieve that goal.”

During the driver’s license or identification card transaction, MVA customers will answer the voter application questions through a computerized touch screen and their driver’s licenses or identification card signatures are used to certify the application for State Board of Elections. MVA will transmit this information every night directly to the State Board of Elections.

Mr. Kuo urged all applicants to remain part of the process until they receive voter registration cards at their homes.  Once these applications have been submitted electronically at the MVA, the MVA then sends the applications electronically to the State Board of Elections, which works with the County Boards of Elections to get the voter registration cards to the Maryland resident.  Applicants are not registered to vote until they receive their voter's card from their County Board of Elections.  If applicants have not received their voter registration card within 3 weeks, they are encouraged to contact the State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-VOTE (8683) to ensure their application has been processed.

"This enhancement will help ensure accuracy of information between the MVA and the State Board of Elections," said State Administrator of Elections Linda Lamone. "Our mission at the State Board of Elections is to provide all eligible citizens of the State convenient access to voter registration, which is exactly what the automation of the Motor Voter process at the MVA achieves.”

“Ensuring that eligible Marylanders have access to voter registration has always been a concern of the legislature,” said Delegate Jon Cardin.  “I am pleased that the MVA took a lead role and worked together with the State Board of Elections to offer those who apply for a driver’s license or identification card a convenient opportunity to apply to register to vote.”

Maryland joins a short list of states that have fully automated the voter registration application process at motor vehicle agencies.  The deadline to apply to register to vote in the upcoming primary election is March 13, 2012.  For more information on the new electronic Motor Voter application system, please visit MVA’s website at:
http://www.mva.maryland.gov/MVA-Programs/motorvoter.htm

CONTACT:
Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
Buel Young
410-762-5188
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