Online Voter Registration Programs Take Root Nationwide

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Voter registration may take a leap into the 21st century soon. According to a brief from The Pew Charitable Trusts, letting voters register online could lead to a better experience.

Currently, 20 states allow voters to register online, and 13 of those states cited increased “voter satisfaction” and “reduced burdens on election officials” as benefits of the program.

Online registration also allows more people to register, including those with disabilities and those who don’t speak English. Websites can be optimized for those users, who are able to vote but may not have access to traditional registration.

The shift to online registration is also cost effective. California saved nearly $2 million by implementing an online program, and most states reported that they spent less than $300,000 on implementing the change. 

Oklahoma and New Mexico approved online voter registration this year, and Florida may follow suit.

However, the system isn’t perfect yet. Several states haven’t adequately promoted the program, so few voters are aware of them. Other states still rely on paper copies of the records, which reduces savings. 

Sources: The Huffington Post, The Pew Charitable Trusts / Image via Erik (HASH) Hersman/Flickr