The discussion at Wisconsin’s Capitol includes examples of online voter registration, its implementation, data sharing, costs, security, accuracy, and convenience.
Tammy Patrick is Federal Compliance Officer for Elections in Maricopa County, Arizona, where they have online voter registration. She explains that processing each form saves tax dollars, because the voter enters the information into the system. “In a four-year period in we 1.7 million registration forms come through the online system and it saved us $1.4 million in a four year period in one county.”
At the state level, Patrick says, they’ve saved about $4 million over the time they’ve had the online system in place. She says savings are also seen in printing costs — a reduction of 83 percent, from $80,000 per year down to less than $15,000.
Patrick says any new system going into place must be mobile ready. “We really feel that online voter registration helps voters who are challenged by time and distance, like our military and overseas voters; by voters who have mobility concerns; by voters who are using assistive technology … and it really does streamline the Election Day process.”
Patrick says it costs about $125,000 a year to maintain the system. She says nobody is pushing to get rid of paper forms just yet, but stresses online registration continues to grow.
Arizona was the first state in the nation to implement online voter registration 12 years ago. Currently, 18 states offer the option.
The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections held an informational hearing on Online Voter Registration Tuesday.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:57