VIDEO: Taking California’s Online Voter Registration to the next level

150 150 Alexandra Bjerg

The June 3rd primary election is just six weeks away, yet millions of Californians will be unable to cast a ballot because they’re not yet registered to vote. With more than a quarter of eligible adults unregistered to vote, California ranks among the bottom states in voter registration. However, the state’s top election official hopes to boost voter rolls with an upgraded app.  

In 2012 California implemented an award winning online voter registration system (COVR), making the cumbersome voter registration process more accessible to a broader segment of the population. Californians overwhelmingly embraced the added convenience of going paperless, with 40 percent of registrants heading to their computer rather than their mailbox in the first year alone.

Despite making it easier than ever to signup, many Californians faced significant obstacles in registering to vote. Monday California Secretary of State Debra Bowen unveiled an upgraded online voter registration platform designed to further reduce the barriers to entry. The redesigned system includes improved accessibility for voters with disabilities, a more user-friendly interface, and is now available in 10 different languages.

By removing administrative barriers to the ballot box, the improvement and expansion of COVR ensures California’s democracy becomes more inclusive and robust.

But technology alone doesn’t register voters, says Amanda Brown, National Political Director at Rock the Vote, one of several organizations working in collaboration with the Secretary of State’s office to improve the COVR system.

“Now what is actually and most needed is the promotion of the technology,” Brown said. “It’s so important to get the word out that there is a tool that you can use to register to vote.”

The registration deadline for the upcoming primary election in May 19. So what are you waiting for? Click here to register now and help spread the word! Remember, if you don’t register, you can’t vote. 


Alexandra Bjerg

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