Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced his office will launch the state’s new online voter registration system at midnight on Jan. 1, 2017.
“Raise a glass of champagne, offer a toast, get online and register to vote,” Husted said.
At Husted’s request, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 63, which authorizes the use of online voter registration in Ohio. The bill allows the system to be made available to Delaware County residents and Ohioans as early as Jan. 1.
Husted has long been an advocate for online voter registration in Ohio, which has proven in other states to save between 50 cents and $2.34 per registration, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Between 2011 and 2016, the state could have saved between $3.7 million and $17.3 million.
“Online voter registration is more convenient, more secure, more accurate and less costly than the paper voter registration alone and I am proud that we will finally be able to provide this service to Ohio voters,” Husted said.
Online voter registration is more secure than paper registration alone as the online system will immediately check a voter’s eligibility prior to accepting the registration. With an automated system, the risk of human error is also significantly reduced, a news release states.
The proposal earned the support of individuals and groups throughout the state. Husted also obtained the support of a number of retired military officials who expressed the significant benefit online voter registration could provide to service members.