A Columbus Democrat says it’s time for Ohio to join the 21st century and allow online voter registration. “We currently pay our bills online, manage our bank accounts online, and even file our tax returns online, yet we don’t let citizens register to vote online,” said Rep. Michael Stinziano, the former director of the Franklin County Board of Elections. His bill would require the secretary of state to create a paperless online voter-registration system that would allow qualified Ohio citizens to register to vote or change their voter-registration information online. Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Fairlawn, said he will soon introduce a similar measure, and Sen. Nina Turner, D-Cleveland, has already proposed online voter registration as part of a larger elections bill.
Since August, Ohioans have been able to go to MyOhioVote.com to change their voter-registration information, and more than 106,000 voters did so last year. But full online voter registration requires legislative action.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 17 states, including Indiana and West Virginia, have approved online voter registration. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has made online registration one of his top election-reform issues.
The conference says Arizona was the first to implement it, in 2002, and 70 percent of all voter registrations there are done online. Arizona also saw a nearly 10 percent increase in registrations in the first three years. The state also reported increased accuracy in its voter rolls and cost savings — the cost to process a paper registration is 83 cents versus 3 cents for online.