Statewide Voter Registration System Update: SVRS Info Begins Rolling In!

SVRS Info Begins Rolling In!

Indianapolis, IN - More than two months after beating the January 1, 2006 deadline for implementing Indiana's first statewide voter registration system (SVRS), the Secretary of State's office continues its monthly update regarding the implementation of SVRS, powered by FirstTuesday , a software program developed by Quest Information Systems.

Though Indiana beat the federally mandated deadline to get SVRS live in all 92 counties by more than a month, this massive undertaking did not happen overnight. Beginning more than two years ago as an initiative by Secretary of State Todd Rokita and a bipartisan team of Indiana election administrators and legislators, the effort to create Indiana's first statewide registration system became part of Indiana's implementation of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002. In May of 2005, a pilot version of the new system was implemented in ten counties selected from over forty who volunteered to serve, and additional counties were added on a weekly basis until all counties went live in November.

Today, with all Indiana counties successfully online through SVRS and using FirstTuesday to add voters and maintain voter registration records, the immediate benefits of the system can be seen for the first time. "This is a universal window to the more than four million voters in Indiana," Rokita said. "With this previously unavailable technology, we are now able to improve the integrity and accuracy of Indiana's voter rolls in a way that has never before been possible."

As of today, there are 4,329,643 voter records on file in Indiana and SVRS has identified 290,522 possible duplicate registrations. Though the direct links to the Department of Health and the Department of Correction just came online less than twenty days ago, already 28,845 potential matches for deceased voters have been identified as well as 5,435 incarcerated voters. After a month of a direct link to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles county election administrators have received just over 24,000 voter registrations electronically, saving countless hours of sifting through paper voter cards.

Historically (prior to SVRS), management of voter files was done on a county-by-county basis. Initial tests project that with some 290,000 duplicates across the state. For the first time, the state is now able to monitor county officials and their efforts to manage their voter rolls in compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (a.k.a. Motor Voter Law), which sets forth stringent requirements for the removal of duplicate voter registrations.

Also new this month, the SVRS Steering Committee is reviewing changes to the system's workflow as requested by county election administrators. The state has also developed an initial list of 55 Standard Operating Procedures to address a range of questions from "How to properly treat potential duplicate registrations?" to "Dealing with mandatory components of the software based on state and federal law."

Finally, the State Team and Quest will coordinate and execute a mock-election in mid-March aimed at testing the overall readiness of the counties and the application to execute the primary election in May. Currently, seventy-nine of Indiana's ninety-two counties have indicated their intention to participate in the mock election, with six counties yet to respond.