Orange County voters to receive paper trails of their registration

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Anyone who registers to vote in Orange County through the “Motor Voter” program will now receive a paper trail, or receipt, detailing the voter’s registration information, including party affiliation, said Scott Randolph of the Orange County Tax Collector’s office.

The paper trail will allow customers to double-check their information before it is sent to the County Supervisor of Elections before final processing.

The decision comes after many residents couldn’t vote in Florida’s presidential primary election because records showed they were not registered as a Democrat or Republican, but were non-party affiliations. Under Florida’s closed primary rules, only party-affiliated voters can cast a vote in a particular party’s primary.

In 2010, the Florida Legislature mandated that county tax collector offices take over all driver license functions, including Motor Voter registration, by the end of 2015.

Under Motor Voter, Florida residents can register to vote or update their voting information, such as a change in address or party affiliation, at their local tax collector office. In Orange County, 69 percent of voters who registered in 2015 signed up through Motor Voter. Randolph said his office conducted nearly 30,000 Motor Voter transactions in 2015.

The tax collector’s office said part of the problem was attributed to the Motor Voter program and affected residents who had updated their voting information since the previous primary election. Voters who were previously registered as Republican or Democrat might have unintentionally switched to “no party affiliation,” but without a paper trail, those voters have no detailed receipts of their transactions.

“The nation’s eyes will once again be on Florida and especially Orange County and the I-4 corridor,” Randolph said. “Orange County voters should have confidence in the tax collector’s office and each of our hardworking employees.”