Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced recently that more than 16,000 New Yorkers - including almost 6,000 first-time voters - have used the Department of Motor Vehicle's new online voter registration service.
The initiative, announced Aug. 16, streamlines DMV services by allowing New Yorkers - for the first time ever - to apply to register to vote, or update their address or party enrollment, through a secure online site. To date, more than 16,000 New Yorkers have used the online system to register to vote or to change their address or party enrollment. Now, when processing any license transaction at DMV, customers may complete a voter registration application using the payment terminal devices that are used to swipe debit or credit cards. This process, which started on Aug. 7, will eventually expand to every DMV office in the state.
"There is no doubt that this new initiative is helping New Yorkers become active participants in their government," said Cuomo. "With election season upon us, it is more critical than ever that we eliminate any obstacles to voter registration and facilitate the process so that as many people as possible have a say in our democracy. New York State will continue to make government work more effectively and efficiently, so that it can better serve the people in the 21st century."
The website can be found at my.dmv.ny.gov /crm/ and can be used by any New Yorker with a driver's license or non-driver ID.
New York is ranked 47th in the nation in voter registration, with less than 64 percent of eligible residents registered to vote.
The new system, which will also include digitized voter registration at electronic VeriFone terminals at New York's 129 DMV locations, replaced the vast majority of paper forms and is designed to help centralize the digital transmission of voter registration applications and minimize errors in the system. The measure is expected to save New York state more than $270,000 a year and more than $350,000 a year for the county boards of election.
In 2013, the MyDMV service will electronically transmit all voter information to the county Boards of Elections, significantly reducing entry times for those BOEs.
The governor's office is currently working with other "motor voter" agencies to develop online registration options where possible, particularly for non-drivers.