What is the SURE Portal?
As the SURE project at the Department of State developed and expanded over the past several years, it became apparent that there are many areas of voter registration and election management that could be addressed and improved outside of the official SURE system. The Department embarked on the SURE Portal project in 2005 in order to address some of these areas, while taking advantage of the great progress that has been made in the Commonwealth with the SURE system. Having all counties on the same software platform for voter registration management, as well as the development of a single centralized database of voter data, has made possible many of the SURE Portal's functions.
The overall goals of the SURE Portal are:
To make use of SURE information to support an expanded array of services and functionality for county, agency, and public users.
To move some critical county processes outside of the SURE environment, optimizing performance for the official registration system.
To make SURE information more readily available for county, agency, and public use and reference.
To provide streamlined, electronic processes to the public and to county offices to support the voter registration and elections process.
To make voter registration information and processes available to the public via the Internet to the greatest extent possible under Pennsylvania law.
Three separate functional areas make up the SURE Portal: the County Portal, the Public Portal, and the Agency Portal.
The SURE County Portal was developed with the intent of expanding the range of voter registration and election management functions that can be performed by users outside of the SURE system proper. Users of the County Portal do not necessarily have to be users of the SURE system. This makes it possible to allow temporary workers, for example, to perform many election-related duties without accessing the SURE system. The County Portal does not require Winterms to function; the Portal application may be deployed directly to county computers. The County Portal provides the following functions to county users:
Voter search capability
Scanning and data entry of voter registration applications (entered into the Portal and imported into SURE via the Dynamic Import Process)
Posting of county-specific office information, polling place information, news, FAQs, events, and links to the Public Portal website
Entry, processing, and certification of provisional ballots
Voter registration statistics certification
Report generation and printing
Verification of voting system software
Future functionality planned for the County Portal includes electronic poll books and the ability to upload election returns to the Department.
In addition, the Public Kiosk has been deployed as a part of the County Portal. This feature was developed so that county election offices may, if they choose, provide a public computer terminal to customers so that they can access many features of the Portal in the county office. Public users of the Kiosk have the ability to perform the following functions:
- Search for and view voter registration information for any voter in the county (after completing an affirmation and showing identification to an election official)
- Change their voter registration information or complete a new application electronically (application is submitted directly to SURE)
- Access valuable information regarding the elections process in their own counties, including county-specific news, FAQs, and links
- Search for provisional ballot status
The SURE Public Portal provides access to many aspects of the voter registration and elections process directly to the public via the Internet at www.pavoterservices.state.pa.us
. On the Public Portal website, voters may:
- Search for and view their own registration and polling place information, including directions to their polling place
- Apply to change their voter registration information or complete a new application online, with paper signature to follow (imported into SURE via the Dynamic Import Process)
- Apply for an absentee ballot (ability to transfer to SURE electronically planned for the future)
- Access valuable information regarding the elections process in their own counties, including information on voting systems and county-specific office information, polling place information, news, FAQs, events, and links
- Search for provisional ballot status
- Participate in a threaded discussion
- Search for a Voter Hall of Fame inductee
The SURE Agency Portal provides useful elections functionality to the Department of State. The functionality provided to Department of State users includes the ability to:
- Research registered voters through the lookup capability as requests are received
- Accept voter registration statistics from county voter registration offices electronically via the Portal
- Post statewide news, links, FAQs, and voting system information to the Public Portal website
The Agency Portal also provides the ability for the Department of State to deploy Public Kiosks for customer use.
Overall, the SURE Portal is a work in progress. The Department has compiled a "wish list" of many improvements and new functionalities that are planned for the Portal (many of which were suggestions of county users during training sessions). County feedback is essential to this process as we move forward, and users are encouraged to contact the Department of State SURE Office at (717) 346-0462 with suggestions or questions regarding the SURE Portal.
Modified Date: 12/03/2009 01:31 PM