Supporters of two stalled bills in the Ohio General Assembly say online voting registration could save hundreds of thousands of dollars statewide each year. A roundup of estimates gathered by the Northeast Ohio Media Group show that those projections may overstate savings for county boards of elections. In four states that already have online registration, relatively small participation rates may be keeping significant savings at bay.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has long offered an example that online voting registration could have collectively saved boards of elections throughout the state between $1.5 and $3 million from 2010 to 2012, when boards processed about 3 million registrations. The claim is based on the estimation that online registration costs 50 cents to $1 cheaper than its paper counterpart.
Judging by online participation in other states, that projection could be a best-case scenario, which Husted has used as an example of how much Ohio’s boards could potentially save.