As the midterm elections loom closer and closer, voter registration becomes increasingly important. Online voter registration is a recent concept in Missouri after going into effect December 20th. It was successfully pushed by Secretary of State Jason Kander in an effort to boost turnout rates, but there are some that feel it can cause issues. Beth Walker, the Nodaway County clerk and election authority, feels the idea may skew the numbers of voter turnout. “So many people register… but they are not wanting to go to the polls,” Walker said. “People are going to have to believe that their vote matters.” Another question that has been brought up is if online registration will lead to online voting. “There is a high possibility that we could see electronic voting in the near future,” Walker said. “This is in part because we have created a society to make everything easy.”
On the other side of the debate, there are those who believe that this can be a better tool to benefit democracy.
Robert Dewhirst, Ph.D, is a political science professor at Northwest who feels online registration could work as a great supplement to boost voter participation; however, more things should be done. “We need to make it easier to vote,” Dewhirst said. “This means same-day registration and early voting.”
As of late, students and young people have had abysmal turnout rates in recent elections, and this seems like a problem that needs to be addressed. According to the Census Bureau report, the turnout rate among 18-to 24-year olds was as low as 41.2% in 2012.
Full Article: Online Voter Registration – Northwest Missourian: Home.