OKLAHOMA CITY — For the first time, many Oklahoma voters will now be able to update some of their basic voter registration information online.
The first phase of online voter registration, which was operational Monday, allows Oklahomans to update their address or party affiliation online, said Paul Ziriax, the Election Board secretary, in a statement.
Voters, however, must be already registered and have an address change within their current county in order to use the online service. Oklahomans who relocate to anoth- er county, change their name or who plan to register for the first time must still complete the paper form for a few more years, he said.
“Already registered voters who are changing their information, that accounts for a good portion of the registrations we receive,” said elections spokesman Bryan Dean.
As of December, 37 other states already offered online registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The organization noted that Oklahoma lawmakers first passed legislation in 2015 allowing online registration, but hadn’t implemented it.
Most states validate eligibility by comparing the online registration information to a driver’s license or other state-issued identification card, the organization said. States then use the signature on record as the voting signature.
Dean said Oklahoma law requires that the registration system be connected to the Department of Public Safety’s driver’s license database. Full online registration won’t be possible until the agency's computer system is upgraded — hopefully in 2020, he said.
Dean said election officials wanted to offer Oklahomans some online registration options in the interim.
“We want to make voter registration convenient,” he said. “We want to give people options.”
To update your information online, visit www.elections.ok.gov.
Stecklein covers the Oklahoma Statehouse for CNHI's newspapers and websites.