Michiganders can now register to vote online, use digital notary services

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    As of Monday, Michiganders can now register to vote, update their voter registration information and have documents notarized from the comfort of their computer, tablet or smartphone.

    Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced the new online voter registration portal on Monday, making Michigan one of 38 states to allow voters to register online.

    Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, May 18, 2019 | Andrew Roth

    “This fast, convenient, cost-effective and secure option to register to vote will enable many more people to participate in democracy, and help Michigan’s clerks maintain complete, accurate and up-to-date voter rolls,” Benson said in a press release.

    The service had been in the making for the last year, as laws to allow online voter registration passed through the state Legislature and were signed by former Gov. Rick Snyder in fall 2018.

    Michiganders who want to register to vote or update their voter registration address only need a valid state driver’s license or state ID card to access the new Michigan Online Voter Registration System. Those who are unsure whether they are registered to vote can check here.

    Benson announced the timing of the new online service’s rollout in September, after automatic voter registration took hold in Michigan on Sept. 9 as part of Proposal 3 of 2018.

    Automatic voter registration now a reality in Michigan  

    Additional features for the tool will be added in 2020, according to the press release.

    Benson also announced that electronic notarization (eNotary) services are now available, which use digital copies of documents and electronic signatures to certify their authenticity.

    All four of the newly Department of State-approved eNotary vendor systems – eMortgageLaw, Nexsys, Pavaso and NotaryCam – also offer remote notarization services, which are conducted through audio and visual equipment in lieu of appearing before a notary in person.

    The online service is an optional feature being offered in the hopes of making notarization more convenient and accessible. Traditional pen and paper notarizations will still be performed as usual.

    Michigan amended its notary law in 2018 to allow electronic and remote notarizations.

    Laina G. Stebbins
    Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, civil rights, health care/safety net and criminal justice. She is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or listening to podcasts, she loves art and design, discovering new music, being out in nature and spending time with her two very special cats.