For the first time in Pasco County history, the Supervisor of Elections’ Office partnered with the Tax Collector’s Office to provide training to all staff that provides voter registration services through the Tax Collector’s office.
Beginning with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, commonly known as Motor Voter, which mandated simultaneous application for driver license and voter registration, registering voters has been a function of the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, now the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. When the county’s DMV offices were absorbed in 2002 by former Tax Collector Mike Olson, taking voter registration applications became an official function of the county Tax Collector’s Office.
Tax Collector Mike Fasano welcomed the partnership in order to achieve a higher level of service to Pasco County residents and because the DMV plays a huge role in the voter registration process. At its highest point in 2009, more than 89 percent of voters who made application did so through the DMV. From the Tax Collector’s Office, the application information is transmitted to the Florida Department of State and then to the supervisor’s office for finalization of the application process.
With the goal of making voter registration a seamless operation between our agencies, a series of classes was provided countywide for all tax collector’s office customer services representatives. The training reviewed the compliance requirements of the motor voter law as it applies to DMV staff, included an overview of the role of the Supervisor of Elections’ Office, and shared information that helped to create an awareness of each other’s roles in the responsibility that comes with registering people to vote.
This unusual partnership of constitutional offices as a result of federal law requires the utmost cooperation and professionalism between agencies. There is no doubt that our mutual constituents will receive an even higher level of service now that this training is complete.
New Port Richey
The writer is the Pasco County supervisor of elections.