First Presidential Cycle with Online Voter Registration Keeps Election Officials Busy

Oct 18, 2016

Now that the deadline for registering new voters has come and gone, election officials across Virginia are entering the final stretch toward Election Day. 

Monday was the deadline for new voters to register, creating a last-minute push that crashed Virginia’s online registration portal. This year is the first presidential cycle when online registration has been available, and Alexandria Registrar Anna Leider says that’s keeping election officials very busy.

“If they are not sure that the application went through they can apply again and they can apply again and each time we get one of those we reprocess it and reprocess it. So that gives a false impression of how many forms we’re actually getting."

Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says the Trump campaign and the Clinton campaign had been on the ground in Virginia pushing potential new voters to register. But then...

“Both the Clinton and the Trump campaigns pulled staff out of Virginia last week some time, one because they had met their goals, the other presumably because they weren’t worried about meeting any goals."

Credit Virginia Department of Elections

Kidd says Clinton’s campaign seems to have met its registration goals in Virginia and moved on to other battleground states. The Trump campaign, though, seems to have moved its registration efforts to North Carolina, where staffers are now focused on early voting.