For the past six years, the only constant in election reform has been change – from new rules at polling places and updated voter databases to new machines and ballot-counting procedures. However, there is one area that appears relatively untouched — voter registration.
This, the 13th Electionline.org Briefing, explores the user end of the registration process: how would-be voters obtain forms, complete them, and how much time they have before an election to do so.
As technology marches forward in virtually all other aspects of the election process, the methods of registration remain firmly entrenched in the 20th century, seemingly immune to numerous advances in e-governance.
Despite improvement in Internet security and expanded opportunities for consumers to use online services for purposes from banking to shopping to research and entertainment, the survey revealed that voter registration remains an ink, paper, stamp and mail process. States allow voters to download and print forms, but only one state allows voters to register entirely online while another allows a limited online registration from approved locations.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, please visit electionline.org.