Rhode Island and Kentucky are the latest states to launch online voter registration systems, bringing to 32—plus the District of Columbia—the number of states that allow citizens to register to vote and upgrade their registrations entirely online. Online registration is more convenient and efficient for voters, consumes less time and resources of state and local officials, and results in fewer inaccuracies than handwritten paper forms.
Rhode Island’s new system leverages the state’s online Voter Information Center, which was recently upgraded to add compatibility with mobile devices in an effort to increase voter participation. The registration page requires a Department of Motor Vehicles-issued identification number to verify an applicant’s identity. According to Pew’s newly released Elections Performance Index, Rhode Island ranked 26th in the nation for voter registration in the 2014 general election before the state’s latest series of election innovations.
Kentucky’s online voter registration system requires a full Social Security number and date of birth, but not a driver’s license, to verify identity. According to the index, the state ranked 21st in voter registration in 2014, up from 36th in the 2010 general election.
The addition of online registration and other innovations are likely to help both states improve their performance for the 2016 general election.
Click here to see which states offer citizens the opportunity to register to vote online and to find the link to your state’s portal. To find your state’s voter registration deadline, online or otherwise, check out Rock the Vote.
Alexis Schuler is the senior director and Keara Castaldo is a senior associate for election initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts.