Friday, August 13, 2010

Indiana online voter registration going well

Indiana is six weeks and 2,500 new registrants into its new online voter registration program, which became effective July 1st and made Indiana the 8th state to offer the convenience system to its citizens. (See earlier post on the upward trend of states offering online voter registration options).

Although the program relies on its strict government-issued voter ID policy, requiring online registrants to enter in their driver's license or state ID number before proceeding to the registration page, election administrators believe that the program will lead to less processing delays for election offices and more voters on the rolls come November.

A study from Pew on online registration in the 2008 election
further describes the benefits of online voter registration. Analysis of programs in Washington and Arizona showed that offering online voter registration not only increased registration among younger voters (who tend to be more web-oriented), but also increases the rate at which registrations lead to votes on Election Day.

In Washington, 85.3 percent of online registrants voted, compared with 82.4 percent turnout statewide.

In Arizona, 94 percent of online registrants voted, compared with 85 percent of traditional registrants in 2008.

The study also showed that online voter registration is:

  • Popular - 95% of those who registered to vote online said they would recommend the program to others
  • Saves time and money - Some Washington counties reported that online applications required 1/5 of the time to process compared to paper application. In Arizona’s Maricopa County, it costs an average of three cents to process an online application compared to an average of 83 cents per paper application.
  • Reduces error - Online voter registration allows voters to electronically send their information directly to election officials, reducing the opportunity for human and data entry errors.


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