DMV Jammed Up By Voter Registration Traffic

The central deadline to register to opinion in New York State for a arriving presidential choosing is Friday (see note during bottom of page). While those in hunt of a discerning repair competence go online, a usually site where electorate can contention a registration form electronically is a state Department of Motor Vehicles, that has a story of crashing during a deadline.

Alexander Kveton, 29, knows first-hand. A grad tyro by day, barkeeper by night, Kveton wanted to opinion in a presidential primary final spring, though he forgot to register until a night of a Mar deadline while he was bustling during a Quarter Bar slinging drinks.

When it was quiet, Kveton huddled with his phone and attempted to register by a DMV’s website.

“Every time an blunder usually kept popping adult or zero was unequivocally going through,” pronounced Kveton.

He wasn’t alone. Hundreds of other New Yorkers got held in internet dilapidation during a essential impulse given a state website couldn’t hoop a volume of traffic.

The problem this open was documented in emails performed by WNYC underneath a state Freedom of Information Law. They uncover a complement that indeed adds another step to a registration routine — and some-more opportunities for breakdown.

The online motor-voter complement was launched by a Cuomo administration in 2012. Good supervision groups called it a vital step brazen in a state’s primitive voter registration system. Earlier this month, a matter from a administrator pronounced a complement has processed some-more than 600,000 registration forms given a launch.

But a DMV doesn’t know how many of those people indeed became purebred voters, given a DMV doesn’t register voters. It usually takes in a information and sends a forms to any internal office.

“We are a pacifist recipients of a data,” pronounced Michael Ryan, executive executive of a New York City Board of Elections. He added, “We’re relying on a representations from a Department of Motor Vehicles that a complement will function.”

In March, 4 days before a deadline, Ann Scott, a DMV’s executive of Agency Program Services, sent an email to Board of Elections staff statewide, signaling a start of a problem.

She pronounced a site was already struggling from high trade that weekend tied to a Facebook graduation that related to a DMV site. That bottleneck behind a DMV from promulgation forms that were collected for several days to internal choosing offices for processing.

Then on Friday, in a final hours for electorate to register, a DMV registration complement went down again. People were told to download a registration form, fill it out, save it, insert it to an email to a DMV and embody a matter of confirmation in a physique of a message.

That’s what Kveton did eventually, “This is something elementary and it was usually entrance opposite as difficult.”

The same went for 259 other New York City electorate in a space of usually a few hours when a site was down, a emails show.

(There’s no series for a people who usually gave adult and didn’t register during all.)

These breakdowns behind a smoothness of forms and saddled a city, and all internal choosing offices, with piles of registration forms usually forward of a deadline when they’re already operative during capacity.

In fact, engine voter systems have valid to be among a weakest links in voter registration around a country, according to a new report from a Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

That news points to Delaware as a indication for entirely integrating a DMV and voter registration system, a underline also cited by choosing experts.

“They send all a information electronically,” pronounced Jonathan Brater from a Brennan Center for Justice. “They are also one of a confederate states that do it in genuine time. So, fundamentally as shortly as that information gets to a DMV it is means to be eliminated to choosing officials.”

Brater pronounced Delaware also offers electronic registration during other agencies, so a voter doesn’t indispensably need a driver’s permit or non-driver ID to register to opinion online, as is a box in New York on a DMV website.

“In March, a usually approach to fill out an online focus on a website was by a MyDMV account,” pronounced DMV orator Joe Morrissey around email. “It was this complement that gifted proxy problems underneath high volumes. Since then, DMV has deployed a new voter registration focus that does not need a MyDMV account.”

Asked if a DMV had skeleton to some-more entirely confederate a complement with internal Boards of Election, Morrissey said, “Not during this time.”

NOTE: The New York City Board of Elections is conducting a final voter registration expostulate on Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 during locations opposite a city from 1pm until 9pm. Visit a Board of Elections of a City of New York for a complete list of locations.

With stating from WNYC DataNews Jenny Ye and Alex Gerald