The days of filling out a form and using snail mail to register to vote are just about over. Voters now can register to vote online in 31 states. Another seven have passed legislation to do so and are establishing their systems. More are expected to follow. States have done it for economic reasons — going paperless is that much cheaper — as well as to keep up with the digital world. It may have an additional benefit: reducing the tension around voter access issues, such as voter ID laws. Online databases make it vastly easier for states to ensure the accuracy of their voter rolls. “Online registration has been a real boon in terms of keeping the voter roles clean,” said Wendy Underhill, program director for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.
She cautions that the trend toward online registration isn’t itself going to make the debate over voter ID laws moot. The technological issues related to online voting are more complicated than merely registering, and no state is even close to experimenting with it.
So voters still will have to cast their Election Day ballots in person at official sites for the foreseeable future. Whatever identification they will be required to provide also will continue to be a matter of contention.
But online registration addresses some of the underlying issues related to voter ID laws. Cleaning up the state databases has reduced the need for provisional ballots, Underhill notes, one of the main tools for dealing with cases in which voters cannot provide identification.
Full Article: Voter registration goes digital | Washington Examiner.