Voter reacts to new Boone County Clerk website

11 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Friday, December 01 2017 Dec 1, 2017 Friday, December 01, 2017 2:15:00 AM CST December 01, 2017 in News
By: Sydney Olsen, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Beginning on December 1, the Boone County Clerk's website will allow residents to perform new functions while better protecting their information.

The County Clerk, Taylor Burks, sent out a press release detailing what updates will be included on the new website. According to the release, Boone County residents will be able to update their information electronically. Voters will be able to register to vote, change their address, and request an absentee ballot, all online.

"We are finally redesigning the Boone County website. It's been over a decade since the refresh, so the old website was starting to look very dated," Burks said. 

Before the update, voters had to print out paperwork for signatures. Now those with touch screen devices will be able to electronically sign and submit those papers within the website app. 

Savana Taylor is a voter in Boone County who got an absentee ballot for a presidential election. She said the new website will be more convenient for Boone County residents, and may encourage more people to vote. 

"I definitely think it would encourage people, it would motivate them more to do the absentee ballot," Taylor said. 

She said it could especially encourage college age students to participate in elections. 

Burks said it was time to update the website for a new look. 

"It's important that we do this because people are using mobile devices more and more. I know that whenever I do something online I don't usually have a printer handy to print something, sign it and mail it back in," Burks said. "Additionally, we save people time and money. You don't have to mail something, pay the cost of a stamp." 

On top of making things easier for voters, the new updates will also work to protect their sensitive information. Before the update the clerk's office sent voter registration data to the state of Missouri every week. Now the Boone County Clerk's office is developing an electronic data interface. 

The interface will allow information to be transferred to the Secretary of State without a middle man. According to the release, this new system will save the state of Missouri around $80,000 annually. 

Taylor said this update makes her feel more comfortable dealing with personal information. 

"Honestly I didn't know there was a middle man to begin with. So I was not even aware that my sensitive information was being gone through another company, so I'm glad to hear it will no longer be," Taylor said. 

Burks said the new data interface was important to him. 

"I proposed whenever I became County Clerk that we have a data interface that is shared by the state and Boone County that will allow us to move data without that middle man. We can protect that interface with our own cybersecurity efforts and then save the cost of paying someone to do that as well," Burks said. 

Burks said anyone who has trouble navigating the new website should call or email the County Clerk's office. 

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