parallax background

Simplified Voter Registration

Oklahoma Voting Facts



History of Voter Registration in Oklahoma
On October 29, 2002 congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) with overwhelming bipartisan support (357-48 in the House and 92-2 in the Senate). HAVA was enacted to address improvements to voting systems and voter access that were identified following the 2000 election. Through October 1, 2015 Oklahoma had received $36,043,080 in funding and received an additional $5,196,017 on May 25, 2018. Since HAVA was enacted, 37 states have implemented online voter registration using HAVA funding. In March and April of 2015 respectively, the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Senate passed SB 313 with overwhelming bipartisan support (61-29 in the House and 37-2 in the Senate). SB 313 authorized the implementation of online voter registration. Now more than four years later, Oklahoma has yet to make this method of registration available to voters.

The Oklahoma State Election Board site provides this update. “Phase Two, or full online voter registration, will allow new voter registrations, name changes, and address changes to another county. It is required by state law to link with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety's (DPS) driver's license system to verify information submitted and to retrieve an electronic signature. (DPS is in the process of upgrading its computer system and should be able to accommodate the requirements of online voter registration after the new system is in place.) We expect full online voter registration (Phase Two) to be available at a future date. An electronic (online) voter registration system will require time to develop and test before it is available to the public.”
Voter Registration and Turnout Rates in Oklahoma
When compared to other states, Oklahoma consistently ranks near the bottom in terms of registration and turnout. The problem is particularly pronounced in the 18-24 age bracket.
Mission of OKVote
Over the last eight years Oklahoma’s voter registration ranking among states has ranged from 38th to 43rd. In only one election cycle (2016) have more than 50% of eligible voters have voted. In the 18-24 age demographic, only 8.6% of those eligible to vote did so in 2018. The mission of OKVOTE is to increase voter registration rates by simplifying the process and eliminating barriers to access.

The OKVote Approach
In the 37 states that have implemented online voter registration and/or automatic voter registration, both registration rates and turnout rates are higher than in those states that have not. OKVOTE seeks to increase voter registration rates by eliminating barriers to access. The OKVOTE site allows prospective registrants to check their registration status from any internet connected device (the site is optimized for mobile devices in order to appeal to the 18-24 demographic). If not registered, the prospective registrant can complete the registration process quickly and simply using a mobile device. Once the required information is entered, the prospective registrant will receive a completed form by mail along with a pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelope in which they can return the signed form to the State Election Board (Oklahoma requires a “wet” signature).

Contact Us