The United States takes great pride in being one of the largest and longest running modern democracies in the world. Yet when it comes to having a good voter registration system, we have a long way to go. Today’s voter registration systems vary widely in terms of quality and effectiveness from state to state, according to a recent study by the Brennan Center for Justice. A dozen states still use paper forms to register voters, making their systems costly to run and prone to errors. The states that do use technology differ in how they use computers to register voters, often making the system less effective than it could be. Until Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, citizens had to seek out the necessary forms to register. The “Motor Voter” law, as it came to be called, made the process easier by putting the forms at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and requiring agency personnel to ask drivers if they wanted to register. But many countries — including Australia, Chile, France, Germany and Sweden — make it easier than that to sign up with automatic voter registration.
Two states — Oregon and California — recently passed laws to automatically register people to vote when they get or renew their license at the DMV — unless they opt out. But just this week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a presidential candidate, vetoed a bill to enact automatic voter registration in his state. At least 15 other states, the District of Columbia and Congress have proposed similar legislation.
Though the push for automatic voter registration is just getting started, online voter registration has taken off in recent years. In 2010, 17 states were registering voters online. In 2015, that number has grown to more than 35 states — though New Jersey isn’t one of them because Christie also vetoed online voter registration.
Full Article: Why is Voter Registration in America So Sad?.