Nearly 900,000 register online to vote in PA
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés today celebrated the success of Pennsylvania’s online voter registration (OVR) after the system recorded nearly 900,000 total applications submitted by the midnight registration deadline last night since the launch last year. The popularity of online voter registration pushed total new and changes to registration applications for the past six months beyond totals for the same period in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.
“Online voter registration has been a tremendous success and asset for the people of Pennsylvania,” Governor Wolf said. “This innovation has made it easier for people to participate in the civic process and I am proud of the work done by the Department of State to launch this application and the overwhelming response by civic-minded Pennsylvanians.”
A total of 899,394 people have used the system since it was launched in August 2015, including 575,696 Pennsylvanians registering for the first time and 323,698 users updating their registration. In October alone, 254,657 applications were submitted, including 87,746 yesterday and 77,440 on Monday, the final two days of the registration period for the general election. The monthly total for September 2016 was 172,256 applications submitted through OVR.
“The Department of State is committed to increasing the ease with which Pennsylvanians can participate in our elections and the success of online voter registration demonstrates that when we remove barriers, more people participate,” Secretary Cortés said.
While some counties are still processing paper applications, preliminary data for the general election shows that the success of OVR drove general election applications to outpace each of the last two presidential elections in 2008 and 2012. From May through October of this year, at least 1,009,862 applications were submitted on both OVR and paper applications, some of which are still being processed by counties. In the same period, 631,645 applications were submitted in 2012 and 961,937 in 2008.
The Department of State’s website votespa.com, available in English and Spanish, also offers a polling place locator and county boards of elections contact information. It also includes tips for first-time voters and members of the military.
New this year is 2Vote, a voter information text messaging service. Simply text “PA” to “2Vote” (28683) on a smartphone and you will receive a link that provides direct access to check voter registration status, locate your polling place and find contact information for county offices and the Department of State.
In addition, voters can familiarize themselves with the voting system they will use in their home county on Election Day.
For more information on voter registration, call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit VotesPA.com.