The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) applauds Florida Governor Rick Scott’s signing today of legislation to implement online voter registration (OVR) in the state.
Both the Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA), whose work BPC is continuing, and BPC’s Commission on Political Reform recommended states adopt OVR. In signing SB 228 into law, Florida becomes the 27th state in the country to do so.
BPC has been actively advancing OVR in states across the country, particularly in Florida. Senior Advisor Donald Palmer, a former director of elections in both Florida and Virginia, began working last year to educate policymakers in the state on the importance of OVR to create a more efficient election administration system. Palmer, drawing on his experience in Florida, also worked with local election administration officials to provide information and expertise on how such a system might be implemented in Florida specifically.
OVR is an essential component to modernizing our nation’s election administration system. It benefits both voters in terms of ease of access and election administrators in terms of efficiency, security, and accuracy of the voter rolls. It can also be crucial to reducing long lines at the polls. As a result, the PCEA made online voter registration one of its key recommendations
SB 228, which was introduced by State Senator Jeff Clemens (D), was passed by the Florida Legislature on April 29 with overwhelming bipartisan support. The Florida House of Representatives passed it by a vote of 109-9, and the Florida Senate passed it 37-3.
Implementation of online voter registration will benefit Florida’s election system and make the process of registering to vote more convenient for its citizens. BPC and the former commissioners of the PCEA will continue to be active in states considering implementing OVR to bring this administrative efficiency to all of the nation’s voters.