Voter registration online faces hurdles

SEATTLE (AP) — Arizona began allowing voters to register online in 2004. Three years later, Washington became the second state to do so.

Given the migration to the Web of so many administrative tasks, like banking, what’s with the holdup in other states?

Primarily, the roadblocks are technical. There is no national voter database and, until very recently, there weren’t even statewide ones.

Voter rolls were kept in county offices, each with its own computer set-up. Funding for technology upgrades at the county level was scarce, according to Edgardo Cortes of the Election Assistance Commission.

There’s another technical problem. In the paper age, election officials could compare voters’ election-day signature with the one on their registration forms to ensure they were who they said they were. Online, there’s no easy way to get that signature.