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Elections Board to reconsider license requirement; agrees to pay Accenture more

The Elections Board will reconsider its decision to let people register to vote using the last four digits of their Social Security numbers.

The Board voted earlier this year to offer the option to people who don't bring their drivers' licenses to the polls.

The policy has come under fire from Republican lawmakers who say it violates federal law. The U.S. Department of Justice also issued a legal opinion last month that people who have drivers' licenses must use them when they register.

State Elections Chief Kevin Kennedy says the Board will look at its options at its next meeting which is scheduled for July 19.

The Board could decide to let people who forget their licenses when they register cast provisional ballots. Kennedy says voters would then have to come back with the necessary information the next day; otherwise, their ballots would be discarded.

The board also signed off on paying more money to the firm Accenture to train poll workers on the state's new voter registration software.

The state could pay Accenture an additional $230,000 to cover the extra computers and one employee needed to conduct the training. T

That's on top of $14 million the state is already paying Accenture to develop the voter list.

Kennedy says under ideal circumstances state employees would have done the job, but he says that in light of repeated delays and the upcoming September primary, it made sense to hire Accenture for the work.

"Our concern is that we needed to get the training done and you have to evaluate what are your best options in terms of getting it done and this was an option that made sense to us (Elections Board)," said Kennedy.

While work on the voter list is now well past its January deadline, he says it should be completed by September, but the two sides are still haggling over who will pick up another piece of the bill.

Accenture wants the state to pay extra for work it did on streamlining voter lists in nearly 80 cities and towns. Kennedy says there's no room for negotiation on that item: the Board thinks that's Accenture's responsibility.