John Sebes, CTO & Cliff Wulfman, Sr. Member of Technical Staff

Online Voter Registration (“OVR”) is a way to improve the administration (and operational efficiency) of U.S. election voter rolls by automating the existing voter-registration process, thereby providing convenience for voters and cost savings for election officials (“EOs”). Designed and implemented right, it is a perfect “cloud-based” service for election administration.

One of the essential challenges to implementing OVR is integrating new OVR technology with pre-existing Voter-Records Management Systems (“VRMS”) technology that itself was never designed to operate in an open Internet environment.  That environment poses considerable security risk to the integrity of the voter registration (“VR”) technology base, especially to the integrity of voter-records data.

This paper provides a detailed description of a "reference architecture" for OVR system deployment and integration with pre-existing VRMS technology. This architecture partitions the integrated system in a way that prevents the risks to Internet connected OVR technology from being passed along to the legacy VRMS technology. This paper also provides some guidance on addressing residual risks to OVR integration: those that would remain after putting in place an OVR system based on this reference architecture.