If you’ve been following the presidential campaign at all, you know that ballot access is emerging as one of the season’s biggest issues, at least among political players and operatives. Nobody will actually cast a vote in November based on a candidate’s position on ballot access, but the issue may well decide the election itself, as accessibility is being contested in several battleground states.
New York took a huge step forward the other day when the state introduced a new online voter registration system that will make it easier and more convenient for people—especially young people—to register for the fall election. Would-be voters can access the registration process by logging on http://www.my.dmv.ny.gov. They’ll need either a driver’s license or a non-driver identification card to complete the process.
Eventually, the state plans to allow people to register from computers in their local Department of Motor Vehicles offices. Political operatives will be quick to point out that aggressive voter registration drives in New York tend to favor Democrats, but that doesn’t matter. If our nation’s ideals mean anything, then surely we are obliged to make voter registration as convenient as possible.
Young people traditionally are slow to register when they reach 18, but moving the registration process into the 21st century may encourage greater participation.
Of course, getting young people—and everybody else—to show up on election day is another matter entirely. Often that requires good candidates.
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