Oklahoma Will Soon Allow Online Voter Registration

Monday, October 5th 2015, 4:23 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma will soon join two dozen other states in allowing people to register to vote online. The law making this possible takes effect November 1, but News 9's Alex Cameron tells us the system won't be ready then.

November 1 is when the state is officially authorized to begin working to put an online registration system in place, and it could take a while. The sponsor of the legislation, Sen. David Holt, says the hope is to have online registration available in time for the 2016 election, but there's no guarantee.

Officials with the state election board aren't sure how much it will cost to put the system in place, but say they have federal funds from the Help America Vote Act that will cover it, which is good because lawmakers didn't attach any state funding to the new law. A Pew Charitable Trusts study last year put the average cost of implementation at $240,000.

No one's sure if online registration will increase voter registration, but officials say it can't hurt. In 2014, there were just over 100,000 new registrations; 50,000 in 2013 and in 2012, the last presidential election year, 181,000 Oklahomans registered to vote.

Current total voter registration looks like this: 829,000 Democrats, 866,000 Republicans, and 254,000 Independents, for a total of 1.95 million registered voters.

Arizona was the first state to offer online voter registration back in 2002. The reported benefits of online registration include cost savings and great integrity of the voter rolls.