HomeNews in BriefSecretary Bowen Celebrates One Year Anniversary of Online Voter Registration

Secretary Bowen Celebrates One Year Anniversary of Online Voter Registration

In the 12 months since Secretary of State Debra Bowen launched her award-winning online voter registration application on September 19, 2012, more than 911,145 Californians have registered for the first time or updated their voter record using this online system.

"The Internet replaced the mailbox for about 4 out of every 10 people who registered or updated their voter record since California began offering online voter registration last year," said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California's chief elections official. "Registering to vote has never been easier and with the many options available, there are no excuses not to."

Last month, the Center for Digital Government presented the California Secretary of State with its Best Application Serving the Public Award for the online voter registration application.

The application is at RegisterToVote.ca.gov. Paper applications are available at many government offices, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices, post offices, public libraries, and more.

To build the online voter registration system, Secretary Bowen secured federal funding to minimize the cost to California taxpayers. Bowen's staff then built a secure pipeline between the Secretary of State, the DMV and each of the 58 county elections offices, and established security procedures and policies that protect the privacy of applicants.

"Online voter registration has done more than make registering to vote easier than ever, it has also saved California money in printing and mailing costs and has made the process infinitely simpler for elections officials," added Bowen. "My mission is to make the entire process, from registering to vote to casting a ballot, as easy as possible for Californians and online voter registration is a big part of that."

To be eligible to register to vote in California, an applicant must be a United States citizen; at least 18 years old by Election Day; not in prison or county jail (serving a state prison sentence or a term of more than one year in jail for a defined "low-level" felony) or on parole, post-release community supervision or post-sentencing probation for a felony conviction; and not judged by a court to be mentally incompetent. A person must re-register to vote when they move or change their name, or if they want to change their political party preference.

For more information on registering to vote, visit www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_faq.htm. Keep up with the latest California election news and trivia by following @CASOSvote on Twitter. To subscribe to state election news via email, RSS feed or Twitter, go to www.sos.ca.gov/multimedia.


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