ELECTION 2016: Online voter registration available in 31 states

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Thursday, August 11, 2016

An increasing number of states are using the internet to simplify 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 the majority of all states.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states – 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, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia – offer online paperless registration. Seven more states – Florida, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin – have adopted rules allowing people to register online but haven’t yet implemented the process.

Advocates say that states already 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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