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Editorial: Online voter registration needs to come to Ohio

The Post editorial staff thinks having online voter registrations will increase voter turnout.

As a decades-long observer of Athens County elections, Athens County Republican Party Chair Pete Couladis perhaps put it best: When it comes to voting, “it all boils down to the individual.”

That maxim holds true for college students. And it especially holds true for students at Ohio University, where voter turnout often is abysmally low, despite several visible spots to register to vote throughout the year.

If voting or registering to vote feels inconvenient, it seems many students don’t hesitate to avoid the polls altogether on Election Day. With the Ohio primary less than two months away, it’s a great time to point out that registering to vote here might soon get a whole lot easier.

We are hopeful that the Ohio General Assembly will soon approve the bill we wrote about this week that would bring online voter registration to the state.

Ohio should have started offering online voter registration years ago. It is the most logical step toward slashing state costs and getting younger, more tech-savvy Ohioans into polling places. And, even if it doesn’t drastically increase the amount of registered voters statewide, the option should be enough to make an important difference in those willing to perform their ultimate civic duty.

It’s not just students who have a rough time making it to register, either. People with disabilities could also benefit from online voting registration.

Right now, there are 29 states — first Arizona in 2002 — in the U.S. that offer online voter registration. In 2012, 46 percent of Arizona’s registrations were done online.

So, even if it all boils down to the one individual that votes one way or the other this primary season, why not make it easiest for him or her to do so?

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Emma Ockerman, Managing Editor Rebekah Barnes and Digital Managing Editor Samuel Howard. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.

 

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