RALEIGH -- It was touted as innovative technology to speed up the voter registration process. A private company, All Points, created the website gottaregister.com for the Barack Obama campaign to allow people to register using a smart phone or tablet.
"You're using your finger, either with a finger or stylus with a remote pen that is then putting a remote signature on a paper application and then it's that paper application that's sent to a county Board of Elections for processing," said Veronica Degraffenreid, the Elections Liaison for the North Carolina Board of Elections.
All Points asked the state Board of Elections office if it could operate in North Carolina, where online registration is illegal. The board's attorney said the method was legal, calling it "Web-based."
"I think Web-based is online. You can't have something on the Web without it being online," said Susan Myrick, with the Conservative group Civitas.
Myrick says the technology captured an image of the signature not signing it onto paper.
"General statute says that a voter registration form is valid only if it signed by the applicant. If you've got a signature that is signed by an autopen, that's not being signed by the applicant, that's pretty clear," Myrick said.
Four counties raised questions when they received the forms. Civitas says the state altered the law but the state says that's not the case.
“This is a state agency. We don't get involved in partisan politics, we administer election law," Degraffenreid said.
A law the state says, in this case, was never broken.
Campaign finance reports show that All Points was given nearly $100,000 dollars from the Obama campaign for computer software. The Civitas Institute says they would like to raise the issue of the online registration to the legislature.
More than 11,000 people registered through gottaregister.com.