Online Voter Registration is a Gov 2.0 Home Run

October 19, 2012

By: Phil Ting

As of today nearly 700,000 Californians have registered to vote online.We’ve reviewed a number of government-sponsored web reforms on Reset San Francisco. Perhaps none has been as quickly successful as Senator Leland Yee’s legislation to create online voter registration in California.

As of today, nearly 700,000 Californians have registered to vote online and some are even predicting we could reach 1 million online registrations by the deadline on Monday, October 22.

California Gov 2.0 is Headed in the Right Direction

At Reset San Francisco, our correspondents have had fun with the alliterative contrast between Gov 2.0 and what they have named “Gov 2.Faux.”

Their point is to highlight that too much of what passes as government use of Web 2.0 technology is really more window dressing than dramatic reform.

[How can we use tech innovations to make San Francisco city government work better for all of us? Sign up for the Reset SF Newsletter to learn more.]

I personally tend to be a little more positive about government use of web technology than most of our correspondents. Maybe it’s because I’m a few years older than most of our writers, maybe it’s because I’ve seen just how much constant effort it takes to move government in the right direction. But when others say Gov 2.0 isn’t fast enough I tend to think, “at least we’re headed in the right direction.”

But online voter registration is one adoption of Web 2.0 technology that is simply a home run.

The Key to More Gov 2.0 Reform

The key? Senator Yee and his staff, working with the Secretary of State’s Office, identified a government service that could be quickly and easily adapted to web tools. It is an inspiration, because voter registration is just the tip of the iceberg. Really, so much of our interaction with government is filling out a form – and that’s really a Web 1.0 function.

So, congratulations to Senator Yee and his talented staff. And please, don’t forget to Register to Vote!

What other government services do you think could be rapidly migrated online? Let me know – love to hear from you directly. 


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Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137