Yee Celebrates Online Voter Registration Day

September 19, 2013

Register to vote online
Click here to register now

“Everyone should be included in our democracy” says Yee

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) celebrated the first ever California Online Voter Registration Day in an effort to get more Californians to utilize online voter registration through the Secretary of State’s website.

“The use of online voter registration has been overwhelming with nearly a million Californians taking advantage of the convenience of the new system,” said Yee. “However, with millions of eligible voters still unregistered, we must continue to push for increased participation in our democracy.

All eligible California voters can register now at https://rtv.sos.ca.gov/elections/register-to-vote/.

Under Yee’s SB 397, passed in 2011, Californians were given the option to go to the Secretary of State’s website to register to vote. Over 910,000 Californians have used the system to register to vote or update their registration since last year.

“Simply put, voting should be easy,” said Melissa Breach, Executive Director of League of Women Voters California. “While many states are making it harder to vote, California is using technology to make registering almost as easy as sending an email. Despite registering almost one million voters online last year, there are still almost 6 million eligible Californians who are not yet registered. Including online voter registration on every state Web site is a great next step to increasing and diversifying California’s electorate.”

It is estimated that only three quarters of those eligible in California are registered to vote.

Those who registered to vote using the new online system last year were found to be significantly more likely to cast a ballot in the November election.

According to Political Data Inc. (PDI), turnout was 84.7 percent in Sacramento County from those who registered online – 10 percentage points higher than the county average.

Orange County saw similar numbers: those who registered to vote online turned out at 82 percent versus the county average of 72 percent.

Fresno County saw an even larger uptick in turnout among those who registered online: 78.2 percent turnout for online registration voters versus the county average of only 57.7 percent – more than a 20 percentage point difference.

“Not only were we able to increase turnout among those who registered online, but we significantly increased participation among young people and first time voters,” said Yee. “Today, and any day, is a great day to register to vote.”

Yee authored two other pieces of legislation regarding voting access this session. SB 44, signed by the Governor last Monday, will require all state websites to have a link to the Secretary of State’s voter registration page. SJR 14, passed last Thursday, calls for the restoration of the Voting Rights Act.

###

Contact: Dan Lieberman,

(916) 651-4008