McCarthy, Harper Release Legislation to Increase Online Voter Registration Services

Nov 5, 2009

GOP Members of Elections Subcommittee Release Legislation to Increase States' Online Voter Registration Services Without Compromising Existing Safeguards that Protect Against Fraud

WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration's Elections Subcommittee and Subcommittee member Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., released draft legislation designed to increase online voter registration services, while preserving necessary safeguards to protect against the widespread, fraudulent registration tactics witnessed in past elections.

After releasing the draft legislation, McCarthy and Harper issued the following statement:

"First, we want to thank the state election officials who have provided their valuable input regarding this important initiative - their involvement is essential to any successful reform.

"Americans are increasingly enjoying the convenience of online services provided by both private and government entities and voter registration shouldn't be an exception.  While still a work in progress, this legislation is designed to increase the ease and accessibility of voter registration services via the internet, while also ensuring that we are not mistakenly opening the door to fraud and abuse.

"Providing states with incentives to implement online programs would not only assist registrants, but would also help state election administrators reduce costs, save time and increase accuracy. 

"Americans participate in this country's electoral process because they know their vote makes a difference - because they believe the system works. As we ensure that the system continues to evolve to meet our ever-growing reliance on technology, we must also take precautions to ensure privacy and security.

"We look forward to continuing to work with election officials and our colleagues to improve and increase states' online registration programs so that more individuals can exercise their right to make a difference."

The draft legislation - which provides incentives for states to implement online registration programs - will increase the accuracy of registration records, reduce the administrative costs associated with data entry, and protect against the processing of fraudulent registrations by requiring voter eligibility and identity verification.   

For more information, please contact the Committee press office at (202) 225-8281.