By GREGORY FERENSTEIN, Tech Crunch
Silicon Valley, residents of California, and citizens in 11 other states can now register to vote online. California, the newest state to ease the inconvenience of voter registration, launched their online portal today. â€œToday, the Internet replaces the mailbox for thousands of Californians wishing to register to vote,â€ California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said. â€œToday we are taking the next step in the never-ending evolution of democracy and reaching every Californian.â€
Voters have been able to register online for years but had to complete the process with a partially filled-out registration form that was mailed to users. Unfortunately, studies have shown that netizens didnâ€™t take the extra step and such hybrid online-offline efforts could actually decrease voter registration.
Among the more innovative uses of online voter registration was developed by the state of Washington. Voters there can register through Facebook with an app that populates the regular online form with data gleaned from a userâ€™s Facebook account. Another effort, Ourtime, a voter initiative organization, has teamed up with websites, such as Lady Gagaâ€™s, Yahoo, and (Aol-owned) The Huffington Post, to embed links to voter registration for citizens of states permitting online registration.
California, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Nevada, Maryland, and New York allow online registering, and Connecticut, Delaware, and Hawaii are on the path, according to Jarrett Moreno of Ourtime.
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