Online voter registration celebrates first anniversary

Tell your network:

Tell your network:

One year ago, Oregon became the fourth state to offer online registration as an option.

While we must continue knocking down obstacles that stand in the way of people voting, it’s
important to remember that a webpage can’t replace good old-fashioned organizing. By far, the most effective way of registering someone to vote is to meet them where they are — at their school, in their favorite bar, in the areas they frequent — and ask them face-to-face.

(Online registration also has some limitations: If you don’t have a driver’s license or Oregon-issued ID—not to mention access to the internet—you still have to fill out your registration on paper.)

The biggest challenge with youth participation isn’t getting them registered for the first time—it’s keeping them registered. Young people move at disproportionately higher rates than older adults, on average at least once every year. Since young people move so frequently, they must re-register often, but most of them don’t know that they must do so.

Before the midterm election last fall, local organizations registered thousands of voters, most of whom are under the age of 30. On college and university campuses, more than 21,000 voters were registered in just a few months. An additional 20,000 were registered on the streets of Portland. If organizers hadn’t done the legwork to make that happen, most of these young people wouldn’t have even gotten registered—the first step to full participation in the democratic process.

Online voter registration celebrates first anniversary
, OPB

 

 

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