With more than a third of Oklahoma’s eligible voters not even registered, lawmakers are considering allowing online registration to make the process more convenient and renew interest in elections. An online voter registration bill that received bipartisan support in the Senate is among several measures regarding Oklahoma’s election process that are pending as the session passed the deadline for proposed legislation to be considered in the chamber of origin. In January 2005, more than 2.1 million people were registered to vote, according to state Election Board statistics. Ten years later and about 10 percent more residents, 119,280 fewer Oklahoma residents were registered to vote than in 2005. Last year’s general election drew less than 30 percent of Oklahoma’s eligible voters.
“The registration issue is a big part of this,” said Sen. David Holt, a Bethany Republican who authored the bill that would create a secure online registration system. Holt said 23 other states already allow online voter registration, and several others are considering it.
Currently, Oklahoma voters must register on paper application forms that are available at county election boards, post offices, tag agencies, libraries and even booths operated by political volunteers. Voters may also download an application form online, but there is currently no way to register on the Internet.
“That’s all pretty archaic,” Holt said, adding some voters may be used to doing similar things online. An eligible voter could register with information from their current Oklahoma driver’s license, including the address listed on the license.