Booker calls out 'absurdity’ of NJ voter registration

Booker calls out 'absurdity’ of NJ voter registration

Democratic Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Dems put hold on McFarland nomination over contradictory testimony: report Corker: McFarland's nomination 'frozen' over contradictions in her testimony MORE is taking his home state of New Jersey to task for its inability to allow citizens to register online to vote. 

He said New Jersey’s current process, which is mirrored by dozens of other states, is stuck in the era of the typewriter and called for a change. 

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“The absurdity of such an outdated system persisting in a tech-literate world is impossible to ignore, and the complexity of the process creates a needless bureaucratic barrier to voter registration,” Booker wrote in an op-ed Thursday, along with the New Jersey state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. 

The two wrote that the current paper process puts a greater burden on members of the military, young people and the poor, who are all more likely to change addresses. 

“If we want to engage young people in the democratic process, we should modernize the way that process is run — or at least ensure that the process is keeping pace with technology,” they wrote. 

Like many states, New Jersey currently requires potential voters to fill out a registration form and mail it in or turn it in by hand. Booker argued the move online could save money and reduce fraud, “contrary to what critics may argue.”

Twenty states currently offer citizens the chance to register to vote online, according to a Pew Charitable Trust report issued this month. The report found states that allow online registration report an average cost of about $250,000 to implement the system, with one topping out at more than $750,000.

But those states report savings of between 50 cents and $2.34 per online transaction compared to paper. The report noted some of those costs may not be realized, however, because some states still print out applications received online for their records.

Six Democrats, including Booker, have backed legislation in the Senate to require states to set up websites to allow online voter registration.