Texas’ current voter registration system is expensive.
- Under the current system, county officials spend time and money serving as middlemen in the voter registration process. Now, after an applicant has entered information on a paper registration application, county officials re-enter that information into the county’s electronic system.
- During election season, the need to quickly process a huge number of new voter registration applications forces counties to hire and train temporary workers to re-enter information an applicant has already provided. To illustrate: Travis County usually receives more than 200,000 applications in a presidential year — about half of which come in the two months right before the election.
- Over the past three years, Texas has reimbursed the state’s 10 most populous counties more than $3 million for temporary workers to help process paper voter registration applications.
Online Voter Registration saves money.
- Arizona, which was the first state to adopt Online Voter Registration in the early 2000s, saw immediate cost savings. Its largest county found that Online Voter Registration:
- Saved their county almost $1.4 million in total over five years;
- Cut their printing costs by 83 percent;
- Cut their cost of processing a voter registration from $0.83 per paper registration to $0.03 per online registration; and
- Cut unnecessary temporary positions and overtime hours.
- After launching Online Voter Registration shortly before the 2012 election, California enjoyed a cost savings of about $2 million dollars — recouping approximately $2.34 per registration completed online instead of on paper.
- John Husted, Secretary of State for Ohio, estimates that Ohio could have saved up to $3 million dollars through Online Voter Registration between 2010 and 2012.
- These examples illustrate a broader trend: A 2013 survey of officials in states with Online Voter Registration found that almost every single state cited cost savings as one of its greatest benefits.
Online Voter Registration could cut unnecessary costs and save money in Texas.