Pennsylvania House nudged to implement online voter registration

    A bipartisan coalition is urging the state House to pass a proposal allowing online voter registration in Pennsylvania.

    The measure, which passed unanimously in the Senate earlier this year, is currently before a House committee.

    Tuesday was the third voter registration deadline to pass without online registration being an option, despite promises from the state, according to Elizabeth Randol with Common Cause Pennsylvania.

    “In December of 2011, the Department of State announced Pennsylvania citizens would be able to go online by July 1 of 2012 to register to vote and to update their voter registration,” she said. “But 15 months later, Pennsylvanians are still not able to register online.”

    Online registration could make voting more likely among young people, said Christopher Nicholas of the Pennsylvania Business Council.

    “Remember, this is the group of people who instinctively ask, ‘Is there an app for that?'” he said.

    A Department of State spokesman said the agency decided it would be better to enact online voter registration backed up by a change in state law.

    Last summer, county officials requested there not be a unilateral change in protocol to allow online voter registration because they had their hands full implementing the controversial voter identification requirement.

    Supporters of online registration say it will cut costs for local election boards and potentially reduce errors that happen when paper registration forms are manually entered into a database.

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