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GOP used remote pen technology that conservatives question

Posted March 7, 2013

Early voting sticker

— The Republican National Committee has used the same Internet-based voter registration system that conservative groups in North Carolina have pilloried the State Board of Elections for authorizing. 

Allpoint Voter Services, a California company, has developed technology that allows prospective voters to fill out registration material using their smartphone or tablet and sign the form on their device's screen. That signature is put to paper by a robotic pen, and the form mailed to the voter's local board of elections. 

Conservative groups have raised questions about whether the technology is legal and suggested that members of the state board's staff authorized use of the technology in order to help President Barack Obama's presidential campaign, which used the technology as part of its aggressive effort to register new voters. Allpoint has ties to a Democratic consulting firm.

But during 2012, stories in the technology press noted that college Republican organizations may have used Allpoint's registration system as well. Also, Federal Election Commission records show the RNC paid Allpoint $30,000 in January.

"Yes, we did use those technologies for the 2012 elections," said Kirsten Kukowski, an RNC spokeswoman.

The chairman of the House Election Committee and at least two members of the State Board of Elections have said they question whether the remote pen technology is valid under state law. State board members say they did not know until last week that staff members had authorized use of the system.

However, both Republicans and Democrats registered to vote using Allpoint's service last year, board staffers have said in recent interviews. The idea that Allpoint favored one party over another appears to be blunted by the fact that both the Republican party and Obama's campaign paid the company for its work. 

During a recent interview, election workers said they had no idea for which campaigns Allpoint was working. 

North Carolina Elections Director Gary Bartlett and several members of his staff visited the House Elections Committee Wednesday. However, neither Chairman David Lewis nor any other committee member asked about Allpoint. 

Dallas Woodhouse, state director for Americans for Prosperity in North Carolina, says the RNC's payment makes little difference in his mind.

"This is a major change in election policy, and nobody was told about it," Woodhouse said, adding that he still believed the North Carolina effort was partisan-driven.

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  • Radioactive Ted Mar 8, 2013

    "I was a poll observer and personally observed the divisivness [sic] in our society." Grumpy

    What does divisiveness look like for a poll observer? My polling place is quite boring. Almost like we were one country exercising our fundamental right to vote.

  • Spock Mar 8, 2013

    "...before the civil war and in the civil rights era." Grand Union

    Got that right! Oh... and why do we have laws? Because there are a few irresponsible people out there who feel that they must impose their stupidity on others.

  • Grand Union Mar 8, 2013

    "We should only have ONE election day and you need to either show up at the polls in person or have an absentee ballot mailed to the Election Commission, properly witnessed."

    why? whats so special about one day. what does it help or prevent????

    We should all have to appear in person to register to vote and show ID when we do and have the person registering you note the ID type and number on the registration form. Such ID should show the same address as the person is registering to vote at. And when voting you should show the ID at the polls before you get your ballot. If you vote absentee you should send in a photocopy of the ID with the ballot. Simple, efficient and makes it hard to commit fraud."

    what fraud? If I can send hundreds of thousands of dollars to a bank without appearing in person its more than a little silly to insist that I show up in person for voting......and a photocopy?
    Have you never heard of photoshop?

  • Grand Union Mar 8, 2013

    "There appears to be an overall destruction of a simple morality system within the United States of America - this too is a clear example"

    Oh I forgot to ask...when EXACTLY was this better time?

  • Road-wearier Mar 8, 2013

    I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning...

  • Grand Union Mar 8, 2013

    "There appears to be an overall destruction of a simple morality system within the United States of America - this too is a clear example. I am not saying go back/start going to church - but it would be nice if everybody became a little more responsible for themselves."

    What on earth are you talking about.....perhaps you want to read up a little about politics back in the days of the Founding fathers, before the civil war and in the civil rights era. Todays politicians (or even the population as a whole) are certainly no worse than then.

  • Spock Mar 8, 2013

    There appears to be an overall destruction of a simple morality system within the United States of America - this too is a clear example. I am not saying go back/start going to church - but it would be nice if everybody became a little more responsible for themselves.

  • jjsmith1973 Mar 7, 2013

    @GRUMPYOLD you do understand among many other things that our founding fathers were also seperating from church influence in governing. You do realize most weren't christians at all and knew the destruction of the church in law and government. They even ensured to put provision to prevent church influence in law and government

  • jjsmith1973 Mar 7, 2013

    wow when it is a GOP title it quickly disappears off the front page, when it was the same article with dems spent the whole day

  • erblalber Mar 7, 2013

    Are all things the result of a conspiracy? Could it be that people we just trying out new technology?
    Now it needs to be regulated a bit. OK. Evolution...

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