Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oregon Online Voter Registration?

House Votes to Let Voters Register Online

Online registration plan is simple, secure and has proven successful



SALEM – The House today voted in favor of HB 2386, which would allow Oregonians to register to vote online. Online voter registration creates a new avenue to register that is simple, hassle-free and, above all, secure.



"Oregonians pay bills online, check bank accounts online, rent movies online, pay taxes online. We can change our address with the US Postal Service and DMV online. With this bill, we will move our voter registration system into the 21st century by allowing people to register to vote online,” said Representative Ben Cannon (D-Portland), who is the Chief Sponsor of the bill. "This bill takes a significant step toward a secure, hassle-free system of voter registration."



House Bill 2386 would allow eligible voters with valid Oregon Driver Licenses or ID cards to register to vote online through a secure connection on the Secretary of State website. A registrant’s signature from DMV will be used to match against the signature on the ballot. A registrant would first have to indicate under penalty of law that they are a citizen and that they are 17 years old, just like on the current form.



“Oregon needs laws that make registering to vote accessible and easy for every eligible voter,” said Secretary of State Kate Brown. “This is simple, stable and will bring more voters, especially younger voters, into the process of shaping Oregon’s future.”



HB 2386 would model Oregon’s online voter registration system on those of Washington and Arizona, where the programs have proven extremely popular. In 2003, the first year of Arizona's Online Voter Registration program, 25% of all new voter registrations were done online. In 2007, that percentage jumped to 72%. After Washington implemented online voter registration, 1,634 online applications were recorded in the first three days and 38% of all Washington voter registrations in 2008 were done online.



“The passage of this bill represents the culmination of a lot of work by folks who are passionate about access to democracy,” said Representative Jefferson Smith (D-Portland). “The passage of this bill is part of a necessary movement around voter access – democracy works better if more people do it.”

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I think this is a good idea. I am in favor of any legitimate means of increasing the voter pool. What do you think?

3 comments:

regular dolt said...

You bank online, but you had to open an account in the branch.
Your mortgage involved signing 3000 pages, but it wasn't closed online.
Proof of identity was required for both.

I consider voting by mail, similar to voting online. But in order to register, you should make it difficult to abuse, not easier.

Phil said...

I think it's a great idea, as long as safeguards that prevent voter fraud are maintained.

Kevin said...

My sense is along the same lines as Phil. I'm okay with it as long as there are viable, verifiable safeguards in place.

Incidently, one can open an unemployment insurance claim online without ever having to touch foot in a physical office.