‘Everyone Wins’ with New Online Voter Registration, San Mateo County Election Chief Says

State Senator Leland Yee said the measure he authored comes in stark contrast to controversial voter ID laws in Pennsylvania and Texas.

State Senator Leland Yee on Wednesday announced the launch of an online voter registration system at a press conference in Redwood City.

Yee authored the measure allowing eligible California voters whose signature is already on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles to submit their voter registration forms to county elections offices electronically by visiting RegisterToVote.ca.gov.

Californians voters have until October 22 to register for the November election.

Yee said the measure comes in stark contrast to controversial voter ID laws in Pennsylvania and Ohio, among other states aimed at reducing fraud, according to their proponents. Opponents say these measures are really voter-suppression drives disguised as laws that target problems that doesn’t exist, and will have the intended effect of keeping minorities and the poor away from voting booths.

“This is an incredibly exciting day for California and for our democracy,” Yee said. “While some states are suppressing the rights of voters, here in California we are proudly increasing participation.”

Yee said the online registration system is an example of ways government can bring more voters to the polls, noting that just 44 percent of eligible California voters participated in the 2008 presidential race. He said six million eligible voters haven’t yet registered.

“As a model example of a democratic government, it is embarrassing that our voter participation rates are as low as they are,” Yee said. “We need to find new ways to increase voter participation and I am hopeful that making it easier to register will help get more people involved.”

County election officials say the plan will reduce costs and eliminate administrative errors. Arizona, which implemented a similar program five years ago, reports a decrease of up to 83 cents per registration, and a savings of more than $1 million alone in Mariposa County.

“Everyone wins,” San Mateo County's Chief Election Officer Mark Church said.

“Senator Yee’s law will not only increase voter registration, it will increase the accuracy of the registration information, and reduce election costs.”

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Michael Craig September 20, 2012 at 06:48 PM
This article should ask the question as to how hackers,fraudsters, and illegal aliens will be stopped from going online and registering to vote. The only people this will likely help are Democrats who are trying desparately to get votes ANY way they can. I do not personally feel happy that anyone with a CA ID can register to vote. I know people who have had their Identity stolen and in less than 2 days got a CA ID card without ANY verification at the local DMV. Thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent charges were made before it was figured out and it only was one day that they were able to use the fraudulent info as a Fraud Alert was immediately placed. Cany anyone seriously believe that this online system will not be ripe with fraud?! PS-It is not suppressing the vote when we ask for verification to show that you are a legal US citizen with the right to vote. Many countries have similar ID checks and don't complain and EVERYONE shows ID without incident. Only people who are attempting something illegal have a a problem with showing ID. If you are a legal citizen of the US-why would you have an issue proving it?
Art Brown September 20, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Art B. If it is unfair to use a picture ID for a voting requirement because the poor and disadvantaged can't afford it then how UNFAIR is it to require the poor and disadvantaged to need to have a computer to vote? And Michael C. is right on.
James Lee Han September 21, 2012 at 11:39 AM
You do know that libraries offer free computer access, right?
Art Brown September 22, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Art Brown Good point about the computer access at the library. However, I believe that with the many forms of ID available to our American citizens(birth certificates, drivers licenses, SS#, medical records, and more) that all voters who wish to vote have access without depriving anyone of their right to vote. Both parties complain of voter fraud and what better means to deter cheating at the polls than with positive proof with a legitimate form of ID.
Aaron October 09, 2012 at 02:06 PM
only one political party that I am aware of is complaining about voter fraud ... and doing so in terms that make such activities appear to be more widespread then it actually is. Fraud is less pervasive then apathy. We should be using resources convincing people of the importance of their vote, not disenfranchising people. http://www.truthaboutfraud.org/ Hey art brown, how about we fingerprint voters?


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