Is It Time to Modernize Voter Registration?


By Eric Nakano, Staff Editor

In what is expected to be a competitive primary and presidential election (not to mention the first elections since redistricting), it’s baffling that the U.S. is not considering bills to reform voter registration and create a centralized system. On Tuesday, the New York Times highlighted a report by the Pew Center on the States that found that twelve years after Bush v. Gore, no meaningful election reform has taken place despite advances in technology and best practices in voter registration management from other countries. The report also noted that Canada spends 35 cents per voter to process its registrations and 93 percent of its voters are eligible. In contrast, Oregon spent $4.11 per voter, and nationwide, there were 2.2 million votes lost because of voter registration problems in 2008. While creating a centralized system is likely years away (and may never happen), allowing online registration and using data-matching technologies to ensure voter registration roll accuracy offer a sensible start and something that both Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree on.

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