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Online Voter Registration and Ballot Application

Best Practices

Online voter registration and ballot request forms are an important step to dramatically lower administrative costs and increase accessibility. Creating a portal where a voter can register to vote, request an absentee ballot, update their address, and obtain important election information will reduce processing time and increase ease of use and voter convenience. 


National Vote at Home Institute recommends making the portal usable on mobile devices to expand access.

Why It's Important

  • Reduces costs. Online applications reduce administrative costs by reducing the amount of time each application takes to process. Some studies have found online voter registration applications reduce processing costs by more than 80%.
  • Increases accessibility. Many people don’t have the time to stop by a clerk’s office to pick up a paper application, don’t have a printer, or are simply unfamiliar with the postal system. By creating online submission forms, more voters can access these applications and get vote ready.
  • Improves accuracy. Enabling voters to register or update their registration online helps keep voter rolls up-to-date and accurate. In states with paper-only registration, 1 in 8 registrations are inaccurate and must be fixed before verifying eligibility to vote. This means election officials have to spend more time and resources verifying information.

Relevant Research

Example Statutes

Does my state have an online registration or ballot application?

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