Senate approves online voter registration bills

The Michigan Senate recently approved legislation to allow residents to register to vote online. This reform would help more people participate in the democratic process while maintaining safeguards against fraud.

Using technology to improve the voter registration options is good for everyone. It would save time for people registering to vote, and other states that have enacted similar reforms have seen reduced administrative costs and increased accuracy in the voter rolls.

I was proud to sponsor one of the measures in the five-bill package. Senate Bills 425-429 would direct the secretary of state (SOS) to develop and maintain an electronic voter registration interface that would allow residents to submit voter registrations on the SOS website.

To register to vote online, residents would need to have a valid driver’s license or a state personal identification card.

The electronic system would be required to transmit the application to the qualified voter file and be able to interact with the state personal identification card and driver’s license files for authentication.

At least 37 states have enacted some form of electronic voter registration law. Online voter registration would basically follow the same process as the current paper-based system. With proper verification measures in place, it can be a safe and secure way for residents to register to vote.