Eleven States in our country allow their citizens to use the Internet to register to vote. California should soon become the twelfth, if Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill, sponsored by State Senator Leland Yee and passed by the state legistator, that would establish such a system. The bill is on Brown’s desk, and we invite him to sign it.
The idea of registering over the Internet to vote comes across as worrisome to some people, who fear that it could lead to manipulation of voter lists and some kind of electoral fraud. But the truth is that it would be a very simple system which would not only save the State time and money but would also enhance security. Voters’ registrations would be linked to their DMV records, and electronic signatures stored in the registration, to be compared to the the voters’ signatures when they vote.
Registration is presently done on paper forms by hand. This itself lends itself to errors, not to mention that in no way does this make it attractive to younger voters, who are accustomed to doing everything online.
In states where online registration has already been implemented, the system has proven to be faster for electoral officials and less expensive to process than the paper forms, also an important consideration in consideration of California’s budget problems. And besides, anything which makes voting more attractive to a larger number of people is welcome. We give our unconditional support to this bill, SB 397, which furthermore has the support of all of the important groups of voting leagues and supporters of electoral reform.