In 2008 only two states allowed voters to register online. By the 2012 election 13 states had online registration systems up and running. Currently, at least 14 additional states are considering legislation that would allow online registration.
Online registration helps boost registration rates among young voters. Since Arizona pioneered online registration in 2002, the registration rate for 18-24 year olds has risen from 28% to 53%. Today, over 70% of Arizona’s registrations are submitted online. In 2012, five states rolled out online voter registration statewide for the first time:
- In California, during the five weeks leading up to the registration deadline, more than one million voters submitted online registration applications or updates. More than 60% of users were under the age of 35.
- In Ohio, previously registered voters were allowed to update their registration information online and more than 100,000 individuals did so in the two months before the registration deadline–one-third in the week prior to the deadline and 13,000 alone on the day before registration closed.
- In Oregon, which has allowed online registration since 2010, nearly 20,000 voters registered online on the state’s deadline.
Not only is online registration convenient for voters, but it also benefits election officials. In Arizona, the costs associated with an online registration are just $0.03 compared to $0.83 for a paper registration. Online registration also reduces data entry errors and can lead to more accurate voter rolls, streamlining the Election Day experience for both voters and election officials.