Civic Activity

Republicans, Young People The Biggest Users of New Online Voter Registration System

Photo by Tony Webster/FlickrCC

Photo by Tony Webster/FlickrCC

Eighteen-year-olds accounted for 1,745 of those who registered online, or 3.9 percent, which was the highest percentage of any single age.

In its first 13 months of implementation, 44,285 West Virginians used the state’s new online voter registration system, which allows citizens to register to vote or update their voter registration information, using the internet.

Between Sept. 2015 and Oct. 2016, 61.3 percent of those who registered for the first time via the online portal were under 40 years of age. West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant launched the online voter registration system in Sept. of last year, joining 30 other states, plus the District of Columbia to have similar systems.

Eighteen-year-olds accounted for 1,745 of those who registered online, or 3.9 percent, which was the highest percentage of any single age.

On a typical day, the Secretary of State’s Office reported an average of 150.4 online registrations.

This year, Facebook sent out an alert to West Virginians reminding them to register to vote, which prompted a substantial increase in online registrations. On September 23, the day of the Facebook notification, 4,502 West Virginians registered to vote via the online registration system.

Google sent out a similar reminder to voters in West Virginia on September 26, which also triggered a spike in registrations approximately seven times the daily average.

Republicans registered online at higher rates than voters affiliated with any other political party.

Nearly 18,754 Republicans used the online system to register for the first time, followed by 12,823 Democrats, 10,284 unaffiliated voters, 782 Libertarians, and 119 Mountain Party affiliates.

Another 23,184 West Virginians accessed the online system to update their address, 14,537 changed their party affiliation, and 2,902 West Virginians reported a name change via the online system. A total of 82,290 Mountaineers benefitted from the online voter registration system in one of the aforementioned ways.

Who To Talk To: 

West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office
Email: Communications Director Briana Wilson at BWilson@wvsos.com

Inspire West Virginia
Email: Program Coordinator Kathryn Long at kathryn.long@inspireus-wv.org

 

 

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