BLOG: Online Voter Registration Hits Huge 100,000-user Milestone
By: Pedro A. Cortés, Secretary of State
February 22, 2016
In less than six months since Governor Tom Wolf and I announced its launch, the state’s online voter registration site has logged more than 100,000 applications.
Since August, more than 100,000 voters have discovered for themselves the ease and accessibility of online voter registration. At the same time, Pennsylvania’s counties have gained more accurate voter rolls and realized savings in processing applications.
Approximately 60 percent of users have been eligible citizens registering for the first time, while the remaining 40 percent were voters making updates to their registration, such as a change of name, address or party affiliation.
March 28 is the deadline to register or update their record before the April 26, 2016, primary election. I urge all eligible citizens to make use of the online voter registration site.
Editorial boards across the state have joined county officials in praising Governor Wolf’s launch of the site:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “The state’s online registration offers convenience to everyone”
Uniontown Herald-Standard: “Online voter registration is also expected to save money for taxpayers.”
Beaver County Times: “Online voter registration is win-win.”
Scranton Times-Tribune: “Online voter registration long overdue.”
This tool provides us with the most accurate voter rolls possible as we approach the primary election. This is especially important with the volume of new registrations and updates that the counties process in a presidential election year.
At a press conference last week celebrating this milestone, I was joined by Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries and Gerald D. Feaser Jr., Director of the Dauphin County Bureau of Registration and Elections.
Director Feaser said online voter registration has greatly reduced the amount of time his staff spends processing paper applications and saved mailing costs.
“We are mailing out fewer paper applications because when people call, we point them to the online registration site,” Feaser said. “Given the fact that this is a presidential election year and we are this close to the registration deadline, we are very pleased with that part of the process.”
The online system, which is available in English and Spanish, is more secure for applicants because the form is transmitted directly to the appropriate county voter registration office for processing. The latest protocols in data security have been built into the system and are constantly monitored and updated.
Because the online voter registration site is directly linked to PennDOT’s Motor Voter system, if an applicant has a driver’s license or PennDOT ID card, the signature already on file with PennDOT can immediately be linked to the voter record.
Applicants who do not have a driver’s license or PennDOT ID card can print, sign and mail the completed online application to their county voter registration office. If they are not able to print the application, they may request that the Department of State mail them a signature card to complete and return to their county office.
Register now at register.votespa.com.
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