PA Secretary of State: Online voter registration applications surpass paper submissions

Mar 08, 2016, 14:20 ET from Pennsylvania Department of State

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés today announced that the number of online voter registration applications has surpassed paper submissions for the first time.

Since January 1, more than 85,000 eligible Pennsylvanians have used the state's online voter registration (OVR) system to register for the first time or to update their voter information. During the same time period, 68,000 paper registration applications were submitted to counties across the Commonwealth.

"We expect that the difference between the numbers will continue to grow as more eligible citizens discover the convenience and accessibility of OVR," Cortés said.

Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary Cortés announced the launch of OVR on August 27, 2015, as the application site went live at

Since then, more than 142,000 applications have been submitted through the online system. The OVR site can be used by eligible citizens registering for the first time as well as by voters who need to change their name, address or party affiliation.

Secretary Cortés reminded Pennsylvanians that March 28 is the deadline to register or update their record before the April 26 Primary Election. He urged eligible citizens to make use of the online voter registration site.

"The online option greatly increases accuracy of the voter rolls, which is valuable during a busy presidential election year," Secretary Cortés said. "Pennsylvania's counties are already seeing cost savings because there is less need for data entry from paper applications."

A 2015 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that states with online voter registration saw cost reductions of between $0.50 and $2.34 per electronic transaction compared with paper.

The online system, which is available in English and Spanish, is more secure for applicants because the form is transmitted directly to the appropriate county voter registration office for processing. The latest protocols in data security have been built into the system and are constantly monitored and updated.

To learn more about online voter registration, check the frequently asked questions at

MEDIA CONTACT:  Wanda Murren, (717) 783-1621


SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of State