The big sticking point in online voter registration is your signature. Anyone can check a box and say that they’re you, but, theoretically, only you can physically sign your name. So whenever voter registration groups start talking about making it easier to register online, they always get shut down with the “how can we be sure it’s you” response. Enter Verafirma. The company has figured out a way to let people sign up online AND get a physical signature, and you’re going to laugh when I tell you how they did it.
It works with mobile devices, so when you get to the part where you sign your name, you use your finger on the screen and sign. When you hit “submit” the program triggers a pen, somewhere in the physical world, to sign your name on a form. I’m picturing a room full of rows and rows of squeaky metal bars attached to quills, scribbling madly. So far so good, since there’s no way to tell, when the ink hits the paper, whether a signature is real or not. Verafirma successfully signed up people in Nevada for that state’s recent Republican caucus.