Access to online voter registration could spell doom for Republicans in the next election. Early research on California’s online voter registration system finds that “A larger proportion of Latinas/os under 35 registered online than whites or Asian Americans of any gender.” [PDF]. Namely, the very demographic widely credited for boosting Democratic victories in 2013 have an affinity for digital democracy.
The preliminary results are surprising, since technology is stereotypically assumed to have a lopsided impact on rich, white, iPad-toting Americans. “Advocates for online registration argued that it would make the registration process more open and accessible to a broader range of voters. Our analysis suggests this reform was successful in that regard,” write Lisa García Bedolla and Verónica N. Vélez of the Berkeley Center for Latino Policy Research.
1. Latino support for Democrats is skyrocketing
2. A high proportion of Latinos, especially Democrats, registered online
Now, these stats have to be taken with a grain of salt. We do not know whether online voter registration significantly boosts turnout. Some proportion of online registrants would have voted anyways.
One report from the University of California, Davis, shows that online registrants voted in higher numbers [PDF], but the figures are just descriptive, and the researchers don’t statistically control for other variables, which might tell us whether or not they would have voted anyways.
Still, as online systems expand for the next election, it’s not a good sign for the GOP.