Kirsten Gillibrand Wants to Make It Easier For You to Vote

April 28th 2015

Laura Donovan

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) wants to modernize our democracy, which is why she just introduced legislation that would mandate that all 50 states allow residents to register to vote online. At present, 25 states do not have online voter registration. Twenty-one do, and another four have passed laws to put online voter registration in place. According to Gillibrand, nearly 100,000 potential voters are unable to register online, and she would like the process to be easier so more people will participate.

"In an effort to bring the election process into the 21st century and expand online access to millions of voters in New York, and across the nation, Gillibrand’s legislation, called the Voter Registration Modernization Act, would require dozens of states to set up an online registration system on an official public website, led by the state’s chief election official, allowing all eligible voters to register online," the Senator's press release reads. "Under this proposal, voters who don’t have a signature on file with the DMV would be able to provide an electronic signature." 

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, told AM New York that easing the voting process could provide voters with incentive to cast ballots. 

"Statistically, in states that have improved their election systems, the more people are registered, the more people vote," Waldman said in an interview with the publication.

Last year, Gillibrand spoke with ATTN: for an in depth interview about online voter registration.

"This bill is different from other election reform measures in that it promotes the idea that our voter registration system should be modernized by allowing eligible voters to have the option of registering to vote online," Gillibrand explained to ATTN: at the time.

Gillibrand reiterated to ATTN: that online voter registration saves a tremendous amount of money in mailing and printing expenses, citing a Pew Trusts statistic that found Maricopa, Ariz., saved nearly $1.4 million from 2008-2012 thanks to online voter registration. She also said that online registration has bipartisan appeal.

"This is an idea that several Republican secretaries of states have already implemented and we hope to expand it to states currently without such a system," Gillibrand said.

You can find out more about voter registration at OurTime.org.