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Election 2012: New York joins other states to offer online voter registration
By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor

New York has a plan to turn around abysmal voter registration numbers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday, Aug. 16, that registration can now be done online.

The state is one of a growing number of states to use the Internet to simplify the registration process.

Fewer than 64 percent of eligible New Yorkers are registered to vote – ranking the state 47th in the nation. The state handles roughly 300,000 voter applications annually.

In an effort to improve turnout, people with a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID can now use the Department of Motor Vehicles website to register to vote or to update their address or party enrollment.

“At the DMV, or in their homes, New Yorkers will now have a convenient and secure way to ensure they are able to register and exercise their right to vote,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Plans were also unveiled to place electronic voter registration terminals in all DMV offices.

The new system will replace most paper forms and is billed as a huge cost savings for the state.

Cuomo said on Twitter that the estimated cost savings of online voter registration for the DMV is expected to be $270,000 a year. Once software upgrades are made at county boards of elections, additional savings are estimated at $150,000 a year.

Other states to use online voter registration include Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Four more states – California, Connecticut, Hawaii and South Carolina – are in the process of implementing the feature.

For more 2012 election coverage from Land Line, click here.

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