Councilman urges District to allow online voter registration

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder,D.C. Council

A D.C. councilman urged the District on Tuesday to modernize its election laws and introduced legislation that would allow residents to register to vote over the internet.

"While the District has made great strides in recent years by adding same-day voter registration and early voting centers, we remain woefully out-of-date in how an individual can register to vote and update their voter information with a name change or change of address," Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells said. "States across the country are stepping into the 21st century and creating secure online tools for voter registration."

Wells' measure, which mirrors a proposal that failed to pass last year, would require the D.C. Board of Elections to implement an online registration system that voters would access using their driver's license or identification card numbers.

Wells' measure would also give the elections board the power to "take additional measures it deems necessary to ensure the integrity and accuracy of voter registration applications submitted through the online voter registration system."

According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 12 states have already implemented online voter registration systems. Four others approved legislation allowing online registration and are putting websites into place.

Maryland lawmakers backed a proposal in 2011 creating online registration, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed similar legislation into law earlier this year.

The District currently allows residents to register to vote by mail and in person at the elections board's office. Residents can also register at the polls on Election Day or during interactions with certain D.C. government agencies.

As of Feb. 28, the District had about 505,000 voters on its rolls.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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