Analysis

More States Upgrade Voter Registration Systems

West Virginia and Vermont recently began offering online voter registration, an upgrade that is trending across the country. They join 24 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing citizens to register to vote and update their registrations entirely online. These systems are convenient for voters, efficient and cost-effective for election officials, and yield more accurate, up-to-date voter rolls than handwritten paper forms do.

Vermont’s online registration system requires users to provide their driver’s license or state identification number and a portion of their Social Security number. This step verifies the applicant’s identity and allows the system to use the voter’s electronic signature from the motor vehicle database. Eligible voters without a state driver’s license or ID can still complete an application online, then print, sign, and mail the paper form to the elections office. West Virginia’s system uses similar security and convenience measures.

Vermont launched its portal as part of a broad new online election administration system that permits users—including voters who reside overseas or serve in the military—to track their registration status and request and track absentee ballots. 

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