According to a Washington Post article, the 2014 United States midterm elections saw the lowest percentage of voter participation since World War II, with just 36.4% of eligible Americans heading out to the polls.
There are many reasons as to why fewer Americans have been exercising their rights to vote in past elections, but one of the most problematic influencing factors is that many simply don’t know how to register to vote or how to register to vote online if they can; they assume the process of registering will be time consuming and complicated, even though it doesn’t have to be. These days, eligible citizens in certain states can register to vote online, making the process faster and easier than ever.
Specifically, the website RegisterToVote.org shows citizens how to register to vote online. The site allows users to locate their respective state on the map, click, and instantly gain access to the necessary registration paperwork. Upon clicking on one’s state of residency, it’s also possible to read the voting registration laws and regulations for that particular state. This may provide information, for example, on how far in advance before an election voter registration paperwork should be submitted in order to be processed before the election date. For most states, it’s recommended that registration paperwork be submitted at least 30 days prior to the next election.
The convenient thing about RegisterToVote.org is that it provides instant access to all the paperwork and forms necessary to register. Furthermore, with the site’s built-in auto-fill software, users can even fill out their forms from the convenience of their own computers (rather than having to print them out and write by hand). Once filled out, users can simply print their forms and mail them into the appropriate offices (this information is also included on the website).
Generally, the information that is needed to register a person to vote includes:
- driver’s license number
- last four digits of SSN
Furthermore, RegisterToVote.org requires an e-mail address, as this is where all forms will be sent so they can be printed. Once the forms are printed and submitted to the proper offices, they may take up to 30 days to be processed. From there, eligible voters should receive their voter registration cards in the mail, which can then be brought with them to the appropriate precinct to vote. Valid government ID or driver’s license should also be brought at the time of voting for identification verification.
These days, the Internet can be used not only to register to vote online, but to help ensure the fairness of the democratic process. Specifically, with platforms such as Follow My Vote, registered voters can take part in a mission to increase transparency in the vote-counting process across the United States. Follow My Vote’s online open-source voting platform is designed to protect voters’ privacy through the use of cryptography while also making sure that the election results being reported, are truly accurate. The end result will be an increased faith in the United States’ democratic voting process due to the ability for voters to audit the election for themselves.