Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ohio Online Voter Registration Receives Bi-Partisan Support

Ohio voters are still required to register to vote as they have for generations, on paper. The Ohio Senate is finding strong support for Senator Frank LaRose’s bill that would bring Ohio into the modern era of online voter registration.

In a Statement to the Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, Donald Palmer, Senior Advisor to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Democracy Project, highlights the benefits of online voter registration:
  • reduces the high potential for voter error and address the risks of fraud that exists with traditional paper-based systems;
  • saves jurisdictions a significant amount of money;
  • increases the accuracy and currency of the voter rolls, thereby reducing delays and congestion at the polling place; and,
  • improves the voter experience because voters get immediate feedback when they are registered or when their information has been updated.
Republican National Lawyer’sAssociation writes in support of the LaRose bill noting such benefits. 

[A]ny system used to undertake online applications must also include certain safeguards to protect the integrity of the electoral system. The system should positively determine the identity of online applicants, provides the transmission of a valid signature, ensures only eligible voters can utilize such a system, use the latest technology to deter any cyber-attack, and leaves the registration determination in the hands of the proper registration official.

The LaRose bill receive broad, bi-partisan support supported by others including the Ohio Association of Election officials, the County Commissioners’ Association of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union, the League of Women Voters of Ohio and Military leaders. According to The Columbus Dispatch, the Senate hopes to vote on the bill by the end of the summer, and move closer to online voter registration. RNLA hopes Ohio passes this bill to give Ohioans the convenience of full, secure, online voter registration.

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