How to Expand the Voter Rolls
April 6, 2012 | The New York Times
Voter registration in most states is an extremely outdated process that requires an eligible person to make significant effort to exercise their basic right to vote. Not only does the current system require first-time voters to complete paper forms at government offices, but when a voter moves or has an address or name change they must repeat the process.
However, a few states have begun implementing paperless systems that have proven to be cheaper, more accurate, and less complicated than the antiquated paper registration systems. Ten states now allow eligible voters to register online, and seventeen other states electronically transmit registration information from government agencies to election offices when an unregistered individual has contact with that agency. The Brennan Center for Justice found that these electronic systems have doubled the number of registrations through motor vehicle departments in Washington state and Kansas.
With a registration rate of only 68% in the United States, it is evident that the current system is out-of-date and is in dire need of an update. Online or electronic registration provides a cost-effective, accurate way to ensure that all eligible people are registered to vote.