New online voter registration

Julia Snyder
Associate News Editor

One of the earliest American History lessons children are taught is that on July 4, 1776, America declared its independence from the British. However, an equally important day in American history was September 17, 1787, which was the day the Constitution was signed. This day is remembered by millions of citizens each year, but Millersville has extended the celebration to last an entire week. Dr. Adam Lawrence, a government professor at Millersville, says “At Millersville, we use the week to hold events and activities designed to educate the campus community about the rights and liberties enshrined in the Constitution and the system of government that it created.”

One of the newest features of Constitution week stems from an encouraging advancement in voting registration. As of August 2015, residents of Pennsylvania are able to register to vote online. This is a huge leap for Pennsylvania, and makes the state one of 24 that have online registration systems. “Research generally indicates that a very strong majority of those who register to vote do end up voting. It is gratifying to see our state government take a bold step toward making it easier to register to vote,” said Dr. Lawrence. College students especially benefit from the ability to register online, because the process makes registering for your home district more accessible.

However, since casting actual votes online is not yet possible, voters will still need to travel home or to vote by absentee ballot. Millersville’s Constitution week featured a table where community members can fill out registration forms.

This year, they also included a laptop for those who wished to register online. Though it wasn’t as popular as the hard copy forms, there is some speculation that an event featuring the online registration forms in a computer lab could be added to next year’s Constitution week.

“We are a cautious, conservative state when it comes to pursuing electoral reform of any substantive nature,” said Dr. Lawrence.

Online registration is proof that Pennsylvania is moving forward and taking risks to better suit the political need of its constituents.