Online voter registration is one step closer to coming to Texas.
This afternoon, the Texas senate approved SB 315, a bill proposed by State Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) to allow holders of unexpired Texas driver’s licenses or state-issued IDs to register to vote online.
The bill passed with a vote of 21-10.
Currently, registered voters in Texas may change their addresses online if they move within the same county but must complete a paper application if they are registering to vote for the first time or have moved to a different county.
In testimony on the proposed bill, election administrators said the legislation would both save significant money by reducing the need to manually enter information and eliminate transcription mistakes that happen with the current process.
The version of the bill approved by the Texas senate differs slightly from the original filed version in that the passed bill no longer requires voters to use the address listed on their license or ID as their voter registration address.
A similar bill - HB 313 - by State Rep. Mark Strama (D-Austin) is currently pending in the state house.
If the bill becomes law, Texas would join Arizona and 11 other states in offering online voter registration. In Arizona, 70% of voter registrations now occur online, and the cost per registration has fallen from 83 cents to 3 cents.