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California allows complete voter registration online

  • Secretary of State Debra Bowen displays cellphones and a paper form to demonstrate the different ways California voters register to vote during a news conference Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, in Sacramento, Calif. California launched a new online voter registration system that will be checked against their driver's license or the state identification card. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO — California elections officials hope to make signing up to vote easier than ever through an online registration system that launched Wednesday.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen called the new process "great news for democracy." She was joined by state lawmakers and voter advocates in Sacramento to announce the web feature, which is being made available for the first time ahead of the November election.

Supporters say it will help more than 6 million Californians who are qualified but have not registered. Republicans had opposed the bill that created complete online registration, saying the change could lead to voter fraud and additional costs.

Under the new law, applicants can fill out a traditional paper form or complete a form online through the secretary of state's website or at www.registertovote.ca.gov . The application, which will include date of birth and the last four digits of the Social Security number, will be checked against their driver's license or the state identification card kept by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

If the information matches, an electronic image of the applicant's DMV signature will be added to the application at the end of the process.


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