Online voter registration in the 50 states
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Online voter registration in the 50 states
The availability of online voter registration has widely increased over the last several years. For the 2008 elections, only two states, Arizona and Washington, offered online registration. As of June 2014, 15 states offered full online registration, six offered partial online registration and five had passed legislation authorizing online registration.
In a time of disagreement between the parties on numerous aspects of election law, online voter registration has supporters on both sides of the aisle. “It’s red states, blue states, small states, big states. It’s happening across the board,” said Jennie Bowser, an elections expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Proponents of online voter registration advocate it as a convenient, simplified and more reliable approach that brings more people into the voting process, while at the same time saving money for taxpayers and cash-strapped governments. For example, the online process can reduce problems common in paper registration, such as incomplete forms and errors made when officials must decipher handwritten information. Online systems that allow users to update existing records after a move also prevent polling place delays and overuse of provisional ballots. Cost savings accumulate from the simplified registration processing, the lack of printing and postage expenses, and the reduction of personnel costs for data entry. A study of Arizona's online registration system shows that processing a paper registration costs 83 cents, while an online registration costs as little as 3 cents. Maricopa County, Arizona saved $1.4 million in processing expenses between 2008 and 2013 due to the online system.
Online registration has proven to be an effective tool to increase voter participation among young people. In Arizona, registration rates among 18 to 24 year olds rose from 29 percent to 53 percent after the introduction of online registration. A study in California estimated that of the 244,049 new youth registrants in the 2012 presidential election over 2008, 154,054 of them, or 63 percent, registered online. In Maryland, although 18-29 year olds comprised only 19 percent of registered voters in the state, they made up 42 percent of online registrants since the system became available.
As of February 2014:
- 15 states currently offer full online voter registration
- Six states currently offer partial online voter registration
- Five states have passed authorizing legislation to implement the process
|Status of Online Registration by State|
|State||Active online registration||Status of new bills and laws||Link|
|Arizona||Yes||EZ Voter Registration|
|Arkansas||No||2013 failed bill HB 1650|
|California||Yes||Sect. of State|
|Colorado||Yes||Go Vote Colorado|
|Connecticut||Yes||Connecticut's Online Voter Registration System|
|Georgia||Yes||Passed in 2012 (SB 92)||My Voter Page|
|Hawaii||No||Passed in 2012 (HB 1755), has not yet been implemented|
|Illinois||No||Passed in 2013 (HB 2418), not yet implemented|
|Iowa||No||Proposed in 2013 (SSB 3130)|
|Maryland||Yes||State Board of Elections|
|Massachusetts||No||Authorizing legislation signed into law in 2014|
|Michigan||No2||2013 proposed bill SB 28|
|Minnesota||No (existing system was shut down by court order at midnight on April 29, 2014; legislation authorizing the creation of an approved online registration system was pending as of April 30, 2014)|
|Missouri||No3||2013 proposed bill HB 232|
|Montana||No||2013 failed bills HB 557 and SB 206|
|Nebraska||No||Legislation establishing an online voter registration system was signed into law on March 31, 2014 (the system is expected to be finished by 2014)|
|Nevada||Yes||Sect. of State|
|New Jersey||No||2012 failed bills A 2870 (passed the Assembly; died in the Senate), S 2168 (died in committee) and S 2170|
|New Mexico||No||Passed legislation in 2013 allowing voters to update existing records electronically (HB 497); partially implemented4|
|New York||Yes5||2013 proposed bills A 149, A 187, S 619 and S 1991||MyDMV|
|North Carolina||No||2013 proposed bills HB 102 and SB 298|
|Ohio||No6||2013 proposed bills HB 78 and SB 20|
|Oregon||Yes||2013 proposed bill HB 2017 (allows electors who do not have an OR driver's license or ID to update existing registration records electronically)||OreStar|
|Pennsylvania||No||2013 proposed bill SB 37 (passed the Senate)|
|South Carolina||Yes||South Carolina Votes|
|Texas||No||2013 proposed bills HB 216, HB 313 and SB 315 (passed the Senate)|
|Utah||Yes||Office of the Lt. Gov.|
|Virginia||Yes||Passed in 2013 (HB 2341)||Virginia Voter Registration|
|West Virginia||No||Passed in 2013 (SB 477), not yet implemented|
| 1Delaware has a fully electronic process for in person registration at the DMV. An electronic form may also be filled out online, but must be printed, signed and mailed to complete the registration.|
2Michigan allows voters to change their voter registration address online.
3In Missouri, a person may register online, but must be able to provide a signature using a mobile device, tablet computer or touchscreen computer.
4In early 2014, New Mexico began allowing voters to register online at Motor Vehicle Division offices; the state plans to allow voters to update their registrations from personal computers by mid-2015.
5New York's online registration is paperless from the user's experience, but it is not fully automated. The voter fills out the online form and submits it electronically to the DMV. The DMV then attaches a digital signature, prints it out and sends it on for processing and review before the voter is added to the statewide database.
6In Ohio, a registered voter can update his or her address online, but new registrations cannot be made online.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term online + voter + registration
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Project Vote, Online Voter Registration, 2013
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "Understanding Online Voter Registration," January 8, 2014
- Des Moines Register, "Online voter registration bill passes Iowa Senate on vote of 48-0," March 3, 2014
- Boise Weekly, "Boise House Rep. Erpelding Wants Idaho to Offer Online Voter Registration," February 11, 2014
- Pioneer Press, "Minnesota legislature considers online voter registration bill," January 29, 2014
- University of Minnesota, "Is Online Registration Reaching a Tipping Point?" January 28, 2014
- 2014 elections
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- Voting in the 2014 primary elections
- Voting in the 2014 general elections
- State by State Voter ID Laws
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "Online Voter Registration," accessed February 20, 2014
- Politico, "States vote yes to online registration," accessed April 12, 2013
- Project Vote, "Online Voter Registration, 2013"
- The Huffington Post, "Michael McDonald: Who Registers to Vote Online?" April 29, 2013
- Open States, "HB 1650 - Arkansas House Bill," accessed February 20, 2014
- The Augusta Chronicle, "Westside valedictorian first to sign up as Georgia launches on-line voter registration," March 31, 2014
- The Southern Illinoisan, "Senate approves online voter registration," May 30, 2013
- The State Journal-Register, "Quinn to get online voter registration bill," May 30, 2013
- Times-Republican, "Lawmakers advance online voter registration bill," February 19, 2014
- The Republic, "Massachusetts Gov. Patrick signs bill allowing early voting, online registration, audits," May 22, 2014
- The Star Tribune, "Judge: Minnesota's online voter registration system must shut down," April 28, 2014
- Fremont Tribune, "Heineman signs Neb. online voter registration bill," March 31, 2014
- Santa Fe New Mexican, "New Mexico starts limited online voter registration," January 15, 2014
- CBS Philly, "Bill To Allow For On-Line Voter Registration In Pennsylvania Clears The State Senate," April 17, 2013
- Longview News Journal, "Texas Senate OKs Online Voter Registration," April 24, 2013
- State Journal, "Secretary of State's Office Marks Successful Legislative Session," April 16, 2013