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Editorial: NM voter registration enters the Internet age

For too long accessing one of New Mexicans’ most important rights has been relegated to paper forms in musty government offices and on card tables outside strip malls. But now, thanks to the state Motor Vehicle Division, New Mexicans can finally register to vote online at MVD offices – and next year should be able to update their registrations via any computer.

It’s in the same vein as MVD’s streamlining of organ donor sign-ups, making the process user-friendly.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, two dozen states have authorized some form of online voter registration. Last year New Mexico joined the list. It was past time this important tenet of democracy finally entered the Internet age.

And that should go a long way toward preventing the kind of problems endemic with requiring would-be voters to figure out how to get to the basement of the county clerk’s office or allowing nonprofits to pay third-party “volunteers” based on how many passersby they can sign up or names they can copy out of a phone book.

MVD spearheading this move should provide easy yet responsible access to a right every law-abiding New Mexican age 18 and up should be able to exercise.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.