We are advocating for online voter registration during the 2019 legislative session. You can help us lobby for it, too. Contact Advocacy Coordinator Shalonda Spencer at sspencer@aclu-ms.org to get started!

Paper-based voter registration is the biggest election administration problem in Mississippi. The current system relies on forms with illegible and incomplete information. Election officials are then required to transcribe this data, which leads to further errors either by misinterpretation of the registrant’s handwriting or by clerical typos. These kinds of registration issues contribute to more problems at the precincts on Election Day because poll workers waste time searching for names in poll books that may have been left off or misspelled. In addition, voters with registration problems often must cast affidavit ballots, which takes more time and forces poll workers to divert their attention away from assisting other voters.

Download our Online Voter Registration infographic below!

Paper-based voter registration is an outdated system that is wasteful and inefficient. While the Secretary of State office offers the Y’all Vote website, only updating your voter status online is not sufficient. Providing online registration allows eligible citizens to register to vote, and view, correct, and update registration information online.

The Solution:

Providing online registration to Mississippi first-time voters increases access, expands the electorate, and significantly reduces the possibility for registration errors. Allowing online registration would also cut costs by reducing the amount of time circuit clerk employees must spend inputting the information from hand-written voter registration forms as well as in paper printing costs.

All of the system mechanisms are in place for first-time voter registration through the Secretary of State’s website. The Y’all Vote website is a secure, web-based portal, and can be easily modified to allow first-time voters to register online. Having online voter registration for first-time voters will not compromise the safety of voter information or increase fraudulent voter registrations, as strict voter ID laws and voter registration guidelines will still apply.

Online registration for first-time voters was one of the consensus recommendations of the bipartisan blue ribbon panel.