ROUND-UP: Editorial Boards Statewide Support Launch of Online Voter Registration in Pennsylvania

September 08, 2015

Harrisburg, PA – On August 27, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Pedro Cortés announced that Pennsylvania is the latest state to launch the convenient and efficient option of registering to vote online.  The online registration application, hosted by the Department of State, is now available for use by eligible citizens at  Within the first week, 5,000 applications were submitted through

Newspaper editorial boards statewide have lauded the decision. Check out some of their comments on the launch below:

LNP: Editorial: No more excuses: Register (online) and vote, Pa.

“Pennsylvania just made it much more convenient to register as a voter. No longer do you need to go to the Lancaster County voter registration office; no longer do you need to register by U.S. mail. Now, if you have a Pennsylvania driver’s license, or a PennDOT ID card, registering to vote will take just seconds. … (Senator) Smucker said Wolf and Cortes clearly “have the authority to implement this important innovation, and I am pleased they see the benefit of it and have succeeded in bringing it to fruition.” He said he took part in meetings with Cortes and he has “complete confidence” in the administration’s implementation of online registration. We’re glad the Wolf administration reached out to Smucker and other key lawmakers. It was the right thing to do.” [LNP, 08/30/15]

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Editorial: Democracy online: The state enters a new era in voter registration.

“Registering to vote in Pennsylvania just got a lot easier… Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes announced that online registration now is possible. By day’s end, 662 people already had done so, speaking to the convenience and necessity of updating the state’s process… The addition of online registration is expected to save money in the long run, and it should appeal to younger people who have grown up in a world where they could do just about everything else in life through their electronic devices. Online voter registration at is one step in the right direction for Pennsylvania.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 08/30/15]

Chambersburg Public Opinion: Editorial: Online voter registration’s time has come.

“It’s good news that Pennsylvania has joined 22 other states in making it possible for its citizens to register to vote online using the state’s website. Gov. Tom Wolf said it best when he announced the move to bring voter registration online: It is about giving citizens an easier way to exercise their right to vote and establishing a clearer connection between the political system and the people. So welcome to the 21st century, voters. Online voter registration is an idea whose time has come, and we welcome the move to bring that task in line with many other things that can be done easily and efficiently using the Internet… Not only will it make it easier to register to vote or change your voter registration information — including party affiliation — online, but It should save government time and money that would have to be spent dealing personally with each would-be voter… Online voter registration is secure, accurate and should reduce costs for counties by cutting down on time-consuming data entry… Online registration is a welcome change from recent partisan efforts to discourage certain segments of the population from voting by making it more difficult and time-consuming. As a democracy we should be doing everything we can to make it easier for legal residents to become eligible to vote and to exercise that right on election days.” [Chambersburg Public Opinion, 09/02/15]

Uniontown Herald-Standard: Editorial: Wise move.

“The hope is that by making voter registration easier, more people will register and vote. It’s hard to say how many people will take advantage of the opportunity, but it certainly can’t hurt, figuring that about 2 million Pennsylvanians are eligible to vote but remain unregistered. On the first day of online voter registration last Thursday, 660 people had registered online, according to the governor’s office. It also could boost voter turnout which has been down in recent years. Consider that only 36 percent of Pennsylvania eligible to vote cast ballots in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Wonder how many of the 64 percent who didn’t bother to vote are complaining about the state budget impasse? In addition to bolstering democracy, online voter registration is also expected to save money for taxpayers as less paper will be used and less workers will be needed for the labor-intensive data entry tasks.” [Uniontown Herald-Standard, 09/02/15]

Beaver County Times: Editorial: Online voter registration is win-win.

“Instead of trudging down to the county election bureau to fill out a voter registration form, state residents can now sit down at their own computer, go to and complete the form. It’s as simple as that… In addition to bolstering democracy, online voter registration is also expected to save money for taxpayers as less paper will be used and less workers will be needed for the labor-intensive data entry tasks… Let’s hope that Metcalf decides not to challenge Wolf’s action and if he does, that it’s rejected by the courts. Let’s also hope that people take advantage of the easier registration and rejuvenate our democracy by actually voting in our elections. That would be the ultimate win-win.” [Beaver County Times, 09/03/15]

Scranton Times-Tribune: Editorial: Online voter registration long overdue.

“Pennsylvania, 15 years into the 21st century, long has had access to technology to make voter registration easier than ever. Yet the state has 2 million unregistered but otherwise eligible voters because, until now, the political will of state leaders to expand the franchise has not been as advanced as the technology. Gov. Tom Wolf and state Secretary of State Pedro Cortés announced Thursday that Pennsylvania has become the 23rd state to provide online voter registration… Rather than filing a lawsuit, lawmakers should embrace online registration as an aspect of 21st century governance.” [Scranton Times-Tribune, 08/29/15]

Reading Eagle: Editorial: Internet sign-ups should boost election participation.

“We support online registration because we believe that in a democracy, it is very important that as many who are eligible to vote sign up to do so… The point here is to make sure people will be able to vote. And in the process, it actually should cost less to process an online registration form than a paper application.” [Reading Eagle, 09/02/15]

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