Registering to vote online should seem like a no-brainer in an age where the vast majority of Americans now have smartphones and broadband internet, but this policy is unfortunately not yet universal. As shown on the map at the top of this post (see here for a larger version), 37 states and D.C. have enacted and implemented online voter registration, giving 78 percent of Americans the option to do so. One more state with 1 percent of the population has passed the policy but hasn’t yet put it into effect, while tiny North Dakota doesn’t require registration at all. However, 11 states that are home to 21 percent of the country still haven’t approved a law to allow voters to register online.
Studies have shown that registration is one of the key barriers to voter participation, and states that make it easier to register via policies like same-day registration tend to have significantly higher turnout. Making registration as painless and convenient as possible should be a top priority for Americans. It’s high time that the remaining 12 states implement online voter registration and that states like New York that require a Department of Motor Vehicles ID to register online drop such requirements that exclude those without a driver’s license.
To read more about each state’s online registration procedures and for links to each state’s online voter registration website, check out this page from the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.
This story has been updated.