The Center for Digital Government, a national institute dedicated to promoting digital information services in government, named Utah’s online voter registration program as a top government-to-citizen website.
“Voter registration is one of the most beneficial services the State of Utah can offer online,” said Governor Gary Herbert in a news release. “It makes political participation easier and saves the taxpayer dollars. This award is another honor that demonstrates Utah leads out in connecting government to its citizens.”
The online registration program allows voters the opportunity to register to vote, change party affiliation and update their address. The program also allows for social media integration when a voter completes the registration by posting a link back to the registration page to encourage others to register themselves. Applicants for driver’s licenses are automatically directed to the registration site.
Joseph Wright, an accounting major from Draper, said moving voter registration to an online venue makes the process more appealing for students.
“When I picture voting I envision older people wearing red white and blue hats standing in long lines handing out stickers that say, ‘I voted today.’ This is not the world a college student lives in,” Wright said. “Now just as easy as it is for me to listen to the debates on my computer, or look up platforms on Facebook, the quickness of registering to vote (online) falls right in line. I love how simple it is.”
Similar programs have been implemented across the nation. In Arizona’s Maricopa County, the county saved nearly 75 percent on voter registration costs.
“As increasing voter participation has been a top initiative of our office, we are pleased to be recognized for our efforts,” said Utah Lt. Governor Greg Bell. “We simplified the process so that we can get citizens to the polls, while providing a large cost saving mechanism to state and local governments.”
Eighteen thousand voters have used the program to register to vote.