Voter Registration Modernization in the States

March 31, 2014

Each Component of VRM Is Currently Being Used Successfully in Multiple States Across the Country:

Every State That Has Implemented Elements of VRM Has Saved Money:

  • VRM is a modest investment, and it will pay for itself, saving states millions of dollars a year.
  • Washington spent about $280K to implement electronic voter registration at DMVs and introduce online registration.  The Secretary of State’s office saved over $125K in the first year, and the counties saved even more.
  • Online registration cost Arizona less than $100K, and automating DMV registrations cost only an additional $30K.
  • In Maricopa County, Arizona (which includes Phoenix), processing a paper voter registration form costs 83¢, compared to an average of 3¢ for applications received electronically from the DMV or through the online system. 
  • In 2008, Maricopa County saved data entry costs equivalent to the cost of eight full-time employees.
  • Delaware recently improved its electronic voter registration system at DMVs, saving over $200,000 a year from its election budget.
  • State election officials estimate that VRM could reduce election costs by one third.
  • Canada fully recouped the cost of its VRM system in one national election.

Electronic Transmission of Voter Registrations Increases Registration Rates:

  • In Washington and Kansas, the number of voter registration transactions at DMVs doubled after the system became electronic. 
  • In South Dakota, the number of registrations at DMVs increased almost eight-fold after implementing electronic voter registration. 
  • In Delaware, which implemented partial electronic voter registration at DMVs over a decade ago, 81% of all registrations come from DMVs, compared to 38% nationally.

Voter Registration Modernization Is Possible Now

The movement for voter registration modernization is thriving in the states.  State experiences show that voter registration modernization is feasible, cost-effective, and will save taxpayers millions of dollars each year. 

  • Please click here for our latest report on paperless registration and how states have moved to modernize their voter registration systems.
  • Please click here for a PowerPoint presentation based on our report on paperless registration.
  • Please click here for a fact sheet on Voter Registration Modernization in the States.
  • Please click here for an issue brief detailing modernization momentum in the states.
  • Please click here for Components of a Bill to Modernize the Voter Registration System.

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