Washington, DC - January 22, 2014
Today, Rock the Vote released a field-tested suite of online voter registration (OVR) tools and a game-changing white paper -- Connected OVR: A Simple, Durable Approach to Online Vote Registration -- which charts an innovative new approach to the way Americans register to vote. These new tools are being made available free of charge at Rock the Vote’s new online resource center to support election administrators nation-wide in adopting sustainable online voter registration systems.
“This is an entirely new way to think about voter registration. The approach we lay out in our white paper could change online voter registration from being a digital version of an antiquated paper process to a comprehensive approach that leverages technology to truly modernize the process,” said Rock the Vote president Heather Smith. She continued, “More still, we are pleased to be providing these state and local elections officials with the tools they need to more efficiently and securely register voters online – free of charge.”
Rock the Vote’s white paper, written by Robinson + Yu with support from the Ford Foundation, argues for a future-proof approach to online voter registration that engages not just elections officials but universities, technology companies, government agencies and civic organizations in promoting registration to their audiences, and submitting them to the State digitally. This concept of allowing voters to complete the voter registration process in designated places beyond a .gov website, is used widely in other government processes such as tax filings where the IRS contracts with companies like H&R Block to assist individuals and submit their taxes directly.
In addition to the white paper, Rock the Vote also released today tools to facilitate online voter registration on any election’s official website, a complete technology solution developed in partnership with the TrustTheVote Project for a state-wide online voter registration system, and other resources to support the ‘connected OVR’ approach. These tools and technology solutions have been tested by Rock the Vote and its partners and helped more than 6 million voters complete registration applications. Today these free, customizable tools are available for any state or local election administrator and are featured in the new online resource center for elections officials at RocktheVote.com/OVR and on the Presidential Commission on Election Administration’s website. Rock the Vote’s online voter registration tools are available in English, Spanish and will soon be released in twelve Asian languages.
The white paper and Rock the Vote’s online registration tools are featured prominently in the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration’s report, which was released earlier today after 6 months of research and public hearings. President Obama established the Commission following his 2013 State of the Union Address to tackle the problems of long lines and other hurdles faced by voters on Election Day in 2012; it’s report details a variety of changes that elections officials can make to improve the way Americans register for and participate in elections.
Rock the Vote provided testimony and worked closely with the Commission and its members particularly as it relates to online voter registration (OVR) - a concept it has been studying, testing, and building tools to support for nearly two decades. Rock the Vote’s white paper and online voter registration tools are available at no cost to support elections administrators in implementing the Commission’s recommendations.
“We applaud the Commission for its painstaking work to develop common sense recommendations for improving the way elections are administered in this country so that more people can participate in their democracy and election administrators have the tools they need to do their vital work,” said Rock the Vote president Heather Smith. She concluded, “If state and local election officials heed the Commission’s advice we will be that much closer to the ‘more perfect union’ our founders envisioned and citizens deserve.”
Rock the Vote has been in the voter registration business for nearly 25 years – having run the largest non-partisan voter registration drives in the last six presidential election cycles.
Rock the Vote president Heather Smith is available for media interviews. Please contact Karl Frisch at 202-681-5275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karl Frisch / 202-681-5275 / email@example.com