The League of Women Voters of Texas welcomes the release today of the bi-annual Nonprofit VOTE/US Elections Project report “America Goes to the Polls.” This report gives a definitive analysis of 2018 voter participation across the country. The state-by-state data indicates voter participation in Texas increased in 2018 – Texas moved up from the bottom 5 states up to the bottom 10 states in voter participation.
This report consistently indicates a direct correlation between the voter registration system and more participation. The report emphasizes the importance of a positive voter registration process and experience. The report highlights Same Day Voter Registration and Vote at Home (mail in ballots) as promising solutions to improving voter participation.
There are multiple voter registration bills now under consideration in the 86th Texas Legislature designed to improve voter participation and maintain the integrity of the election process. While the Nonprofit VOTE report emphasizes Same D Voter Registration and Vote at Home as policies that encourage a positive voter registration process, the League recognises that Online Voter Registration is also a promising solution to improving voter participation.
The League of Women Voters of Texas believes passage of Online or electronic Voter Registration (OVR) is a significant positive step forward on both counts. Online voter registration will produce a safer, more secure, more accurate and a much more cost efficient registration roll.
Online voter registration has already been adopted in 37 states. It is time that Texas joins the modern age. To that effect, HB 361 has been introduced by Representative Celia Israel with companion SB 734 introduced by Senator Kirk Watson. To date, 60 representatives – including members of both parties - have signed on as cosponsors to HB 361. This bill already has almost as many bipartisan joint authors and co-authors as are required to pass it on the House floor.
The League of Women Voters of Texas joins county elections officials and other groups throughout the state supporting online voter registration. “Our democracy works best when ensure every eligible citizen can participate and have their voice heard,” adds Grace Chimene, League of Women Voters of Texas President, “The League is hopeful that Texas can pass online voter registration this session.”
To download the report visit: http://www.americagoestothepolls.org