Bringing Voter Registration Into The 21st Century
Q: What is the Voter Registration Modernization Act and how is it different from all of the other bills on voting rights coming before Congress this year?
The Voter Registration Modernization Act is a bill to expand online voter registration to all states. This is a measure that was taken from the Voter Empowerment Act (S. 123) which I introduced at the beginning of the 113th Congress in partnership with Civil Rights activist, Congressman John Lewis. This bill is different from other election reform measures in that it promotes the idea that our voter registration system should be modernized by allowing eligible voters to have the option of registering to vote online.
Q: Why is this a priority to you?
As we approach the 2014 election cycle, it is critically important that every American eligible to vote has many opportunities as possible to register to vote. Online voter registration has been implemented in more than 20 states and is effective in increasing the accuracy of voter rolls, minimizing data entry records by election administrators, and saving states millions of dollars in administrative costs. This is a common sense measure that should be expanded to every state.
Q: What are the arguments against supporting the Voter Registration Modernization Act?
To date, there have been no groups that have come out against the Voter Registration Modernization Act. It is simply a bill that takes paper voter registration into an online format. This is an idea that several Republican secretaries of states have already implemented and we hope to expand it to states currently without such a system.
Q: Do you believe not allowing online registration is a form of voter suppression?
Unfortunately, voter suppression goes beyond simply registering to vote. But it is my belief that having an online voter registration system will help clear up the inefficiencies in our current voter registration system by improving the accuracy of voter rolls and minimizing data entry errors by election administrators.
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