Citizens in almost half the states can sign up to vote the same way they buy music, order pizza or do their banking. While online voter registration has failed in Pennsylvania, three lawmakers are vowing to try again this year. Twenty-four states either have online voter registration or are in the process of adding it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The idea has spread because it often enjoys bipartisan support, said Katy Owens Hubler, an election policy specialist for the group. In legislatures beset by gridlock, she noted, politicians often look for ideas that are unanimously popular so they can accomplish something.
State Sen. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster County, said electronic registration increases participation in elections and save money. Smucker wrote a bill allowing online registration that passed the state Senate in 2013 but stalled in the House.
An analysis of Smucker’s bill said it would mean spending $300,000 to upgrade state computer systems.