Elijah Alvarez of Vernon became one of the first people to use the state’s new online voter registration system Tuesday. Alvarez, 17, set up his tablet computer, grabbed his driver’s license, and was ready to go. It took minutes. “Very easy,” Alvarez said afterwards. He’ll be 18 this month. And once his registration application is approved by his town’s registrars of voters, he’ll be able to vote in the November election. At the same time, Lisette Rodriguez of East Hartford, who is 20, used the program to change her voting address to reflect a recent move from Church Street to Tolland Street. They were the first two to use the online voter registration system after it was announced Tuesday by Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill.
Merrill, a Democrat, described the online system as an important step to making it easier for people to register to vote and said it could increase voter turnout. “This is a reform that many of us have wanted for many years,” Merrill said. Connecticut is the 15th state to offer online voter registration.
The new system allows anyone with a state driver’s license or other ID issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to register to vote, change voting address, or enroll in a political party. It works on computers, tablets, and even on cell phones. And it has English and Spanish versions.