Online Voter Registration: Secure, Ecient, and Cost-Effective

August 9, 2022

Online Voter Registration (OVR) would let New Hampshire citizens register to vote or update an existing registration online. With OVR, instead of filling out a paper form, a person enters information on a secure website designed by the secretary of state. The applicant’s identity is verified against DMV records, and their data is submitted electronically to election officials. OVR replaces expensive, insecure, and error-prone paper forms and makes voter registration more secure, efficient, and cost-effective. 42 states already have OVR, including all of New Hampshire’s neighbors.

  • OVR is secure: OVR makes the registration process more secure. OVR can be limited to individuals with a current and valid in-state driver’s license or state ID. Applicants must correctly provide their name, date of birth and unique driver’s license/ID card number to use the system, and their license/ID card number can firmly establish identity and residency.
  • OVR uses modern, encrypted technology: OVR provides substantial security benefits over paper forms by creating an encrypted electronic record of each registration attempt. These data logs can highlight unusual activity and potential registration fraud, and make it easy for investigators to follow up on questionable submissions.
  • OVR is accurate: Paper forms can contain errors, typos, and missing data. By contrast, online forms are legible and complete, preventing partially filled out or unreadable forms. OVR ensures that correct information ends up on the rolls, significantly increasing the accuracy and reliability of registration records.
  • OVR is efficient: OVR makes voter registration more efficient. A completed and verified online application is securely and electronically forwarded to the appropriate clerk for processing. To add the voter to the rolls, the clerk does not need to re-enter any information by hand. By contrast, the information on each paper form must be manually typed in by clerks, wasting time and raising the risk of additional data entry errors.
  • OVR saves money: OVR is also significantly cheaper than paper forms, since it eliminates the need for clerks to re-enter information or follow-up on illegible and missing information. An online registration costs roughly $0.03 to process, while each paper form costs an average of $4.72 in labor, meaning OVR could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings each election cycle. New Hampshire could use federal HAVA funding to offset the cost of setting up OVR.