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New system could double voter registration in Sumner

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Sumner County residents can now register to vote from the comfort of home thanks to a new law passed by state legislators that has paved the way for online voter registration in Tennessee.

The system is now live in Sumner County and is designed to be compatible with all cell phone systems, according to Lori Atchley, administrator of elections.

Atchley said with today's technology at most people's fingertips; online registration just seemed to be a good step forward for the state to take.

"They want to try and increase voter registration because everybody today does everything online - that was the whole point of this," she said. "We don't know what to expect, but the state told us to anticipate doubling our voter registration numbers."

There are currently 113,000 registers voters in Sumner County. Atchley said the turnout for the last county general election in 2014 was at 18 percent, but hopefully the new online registration system will help, she said.

Current registered voters will also be able to use the new online system to update their information, such as a change of residence, she said.

Atchley also said those registering online will still have to show the same type of identification, including Social Security numbers and dates of birth. One thing different about using the online service is the applicant will need to have a signature on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles in order for it to be accepted, she said.

The County General Primary is just eight months away, with all 24 county commission seats on the ballot, as well as the offices of county executive, sheriff, county trustee, circuit court clerk, county clerk, register of deeds and roads superintendent. The best way to be involved is to vote, Atchley said.

"The most effective way you can talk to your officials is at the local levels," she said. "You can't pick up the phone and call the president; you can call your commissioner or your school board member."

To access the new online voter registration system, go to http://www.votesumnertn.org/.

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