Samuel L Jackson thinks registering to vote should be easy.
Really, each and every one of us should be able to go to our local government website, find the voter registration area, fill out the information and you’re all signed up to vote.
“We're hunting for awesome startups”
Run an early-stage company? We're inviting 250 to exhibit at TNW Conference and pitch on stage!
Trouble is, there are still even many states in the US, one of the world’s “oldest and largest democracies” in one of the leading tech nations, that don’t even let you register online.
You’re all good in Alabama, albeit a longish online form, but head over to Vote.USA.gov if you live in Tennessee and you’re presented with this message.
Register to Vote has launched to take some of the hassle out of this process by offering an iOS app that scans your state ID, verifies your details and shoots it over to the relevant state to get you signed up in seconds.
But so far, they’ve only managed to streamline that process for voters in California, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado and Massachusetts – just a handful of states with online voter registration.
It’s not a bad start, of course, and it’s already got high-profile support.
Register to Vote is only on iOS right now, which means it could attract those in the younger age brackets that might in past elections have thought, TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Register).
Even with support from Samuel L Jackson, without a unified system worked out at a federal level, or each individual state working to create interoperable platforms, getting the whole US using app-based registration looks impossible.
In the UK, a country with less than half the population of the US, the government tried to update its voter registration for the 21st century and knocked one million people off the list.