D.C. eyes online voter registration

|
Photo - Voting stickers at a voting station in northwest during the April 2012 primary election. (Examiner file photo)
Voting stickers at a voting station in northwest during the April 2012 primary election. (Examiner file photo)
Local,DC,Abby Hamblin

The District could become the latest addition to a list of 12 states that offer online voter registration.

"States across the country are stepping into the 21st century and creating secure online tools for voter registration," D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells said in a statement. On Tuesday morning, Wells introduced the Voter Registration Access and Modernization Amendment Act of 2012. The act would allow not only online voter registration, but would also let voters to change their registration information through a secure online system. Traditional hard copy paper applications would still be available as well.

Daphne Bradley, a Northwest D.C. resident, said she thinks the legislation would improve registration in the District, especially among young people.

"It would be more convenient and less time consuming," Bradley said. "Usually you have to go down to the DMV or something and nobody wants to do that."

Since introducing online voter registration in Arizona in 2002, more that 70 percent of registration in the state is now performed online, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

Maryland offers online registration, while Virginia does not.

The latest voter registration data from the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics showed there are 465,971 voters currently registered. That is up by just more than 20,000 over the number of voters registered for the 2008 presidential election.

D.C. voters can currently access a voter registration application online from the BOEE, but they must mail it in with an original signature to be approved. Washingtonians may also register at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Corrections, Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, Office of Again, Department of Parks and Recreation, and Department of Human Services.

Voter registration is also available on the day of the elections at respective poll locations with a valid proof of residence.

"When it comes to modernizing access to the ballot box and exercising the right to vote, the District has made great strides in recent years by adding same-day voter registration and early voting centers in each Ward," Wells said. "However, we remain woefully out-of-date, and out-of-style, in how an individual can register to vote and update their voter information with a name change or change of address."

View article comments Leave a comment