Last month, the office of the Minnesota secretary of state launched online voter registration to deliver a less expensive and more secure method for our citizens to register to vote (“Online voting system needs bipartisan OK,” editorial, Oct. 15; “Beware of online voter registration,” editorial counterpoint, Oct. 18). Minnesotans have responded enthusiastically to this new tool, with nearly 1,500 applications submitted. Along with praise of the system, we’ve also been asked: “What took you so long?” It is fitting that the state that regularly records the highest voter turnout in the nation has access to all the available tools that support voter participation. Online voter registration joins a series of other innovative web-based services from our office that help voters find their polling place, look up registration or absentee ballot status, view a sample ballot, and request an absentee ballot if in the military or working overseas.
Online registration is the next in this series of modernizations that Minnesotans appreciate — and expect — in today’s technology-driven age. On top of the positive voter reaction, the tool is loved by election officials for saving them time and money — good news for taxpayers.
In Arizona, where online voter registration has been used for more than a decade, officials reported cost savings of 80 cents per registration. This mirrors reports from 14 other states that have implemented the tool, including Kansas, South Carolina and Utah. In a big election year in Minnesota — when there are more than 800,000 registrations processed — this tool will result in significant savings to our county governments. This is one of the main reasons local election officials have been calling for this tool for years and are now applauding its arrival.