Craig Stender Arizona online voter registration whiz helped implement that state’s online voter registration in 2002. Since that time, the registrations took off, and now, more than 70 percent of Arizona voter registrations take place online. That saves the state 80 cents per registration since online registration costs just three cents per person while the paper method costs 83 cents per voter.
That’s the big bottom-line advantage to registering voters online, but many others exist, too. A few challenges also rear their heads, but states can easily beat them as Arizona has done.
A top benefit, says Craig Stender, is an increase in the number of registrations. Brookings Institution data backs up his assertion. In Arizona, registration rates for voters aged 18 to 24 years old leaped from 29 percent to 53 percent.
People who register online vote explained Craig Stender Arizona Information System Consultant. About 85 percent of paper registrants vote, but 94 percent of online registrants vote.
Online registration makes it simpler to register since many states allow the use of a resident’s Social Security Number as their identification, explained Craig Stender. This simplifies things for those who do not have a driver’s license or military identification but still creates a reliable method of tracking registrations and confirming identity.
Offering a voter registration program online lets your state optimize for mobile devices, Craig Stender said. This increases the number of people who find voter registration easily accessible since 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone. Providing telephone registration can reach more people since 96 percent of the nation owns a cell phone.
Registering voters online makes it easier to create handicap-accessible registrations. Online methods use responsive design and built-in technologies such as closed captioning prompts on instructional videos, screen reader optimizations, accessibility text descriptions on graphics, etc. to help the sight-impaired and hearing-impaired more easily register, explained Craig Stender. This costs the taxpayers less money since registering on paper often requires an assistant at the registration drive. A greater number of physically handicapped individuals register to vote since the roadblock of traveling to a site for registration erodes.
While Internet security has been touted as a challenge, states like Arizona, South Carolina, California, and Nevada have surmounted this challenge. Dangers of viruses and Trojans do exist but using appropriate anti-virus software and firewalls protect voter data, Craig Stender said.
The opportunity online voter registration provides can either present a challenge or a boon to collaboration with local jurisdictions, Craig Stender Arizona said. Some states, such as South Carolina, worked with local jurisdictions in planning their implementation. Other states have not, and this has caused odd duplications of information. For example, in New York, the state receives online voter registrations but then prints each to transmit to local jurisdictions thus erasing much of its cost savings.
Your state can join the 39 states plus Washington, DC, as a state that offers online voter registration, says Craig Stender. Contact your state representative and state senators today if you live in one of the 11 states still not offering online voter registration.