You can bank online, chat with your friends over the Internet or buy virtually anything online and have it shipped to your door. As of Thursday, you also can register to vote online in Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes made the announcement Thursday at the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, flanked by voting advocates and county elections officials. “It will make registering more convenient and accessible for voters, while saving money and time for county voter registration staff,” Mr. Cortes said. As of the end of the day Thursday, 662 applications already had been submitted at register.votesPA.com. The online system will not replace traditional paper registration, officials said, but will supplement it.
Pennsylvania’s announcement brings the number of states that have online voter registration to 23, plus the District of Columbia, according to a spokeswoman for The Pew Charitable Trusts, which has advocated for the issue. Six additional states have passed legislation but don’t yet have active online voter registration systems.
A recent Pew survey of states that had implemented the technology found an average cost of $240,000 to build and implement their systems; Mr. Cortes estimated the cost to Pennsylvania to be about $200,000. He predicted cost savings in the long run, from counties not having to do as much data entry from paper forms.