ELECTION 2017: Online voter registration available in 34 states

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Friday, September 15, 2017

More and more states are using the internet to streamline the voter registration process.

In an effort to improve voter turnout and save money for states, online registration allows people with a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID to register to vote or to update their address without messing with a lot of paperwork.

Once registered online, a person’s application is added to the list of voters and the signature from his or her identification is used to check in at the voting booth.

The online option that got its start in Arizona more than a decade ago is now used in about three-fourths of all states.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states offer online paperless registration Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The number of states offering the registration option is up from 12 only four years ago.

Four more states – Florida, Idaho, Oklahoma and Tennessee – have adopted rules allowing people to register online but haven’t yet implemented the process.

If you reside in the latter group of states, you will need to register in person or by mail for the fall election. Election Day is on the calendar for Nov. 7.

Advocates say that states offering the online option have seen higher numbers of people sign up, especially young people. They say online registration also saves states money because it’s cheaper to process than a paper registration.

In fact, a 2010 report funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts found that Arizona experienced a reduced cost in registration from 83 cents per paper registration to 3 cents per online registration.

For more information on registering to vote in your state, click here.

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