We can now register to vote online in California? Hooray! Here at Reset, we think this is an important step forward for the Government 2.0 movement and our efforts to use web-based tools to increase civic engagement.

You can still register to vote with the traditional paper form – but this online link allows you to sign up and, more importantly, use online tools and social media to encourage your friends, parents, siblings, aunts and uncles to register as well.

The past registration process was seemingly tedious – and this fall, you will no doubt see campaign volunteers at shopping malls and farmers markets, clipboard in hand, urging you to register. But now, this online process could be an effective way to quickly and easily sign up more Californians.

Online Voter Registration Will Save Money and Reduce Mistakes

Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) authored SB397 in 2011, and although Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill a year ago, it took that time to build and secure the online system. The project was assisted by a $1.8 million federal grant, and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said this will save money and reduce mistakes in the voter rolls. More brownie points for Gov 2.0.

California residents who have a signature on-file at the CA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be able to electronically transfer their voter registration form to county election officials via the Secretary of State’s (SOS) website. Today you can register in English and Spanish today, though Californians speaking Chinese, Tagalog, Korean, Japanese, Hindi, Khmer, Thai or Vietnamese will need to print out their forms. Those forms are also located online here.

Using Online Tools To Increase Civic Engagement

It is our hope that these emerging online tools will encourage more Californians to participate in this election and in future elections. If more people vote, perhaps more people would talk to their friends and neighbors about what’s happening in their community. They’d maybe pay more attention and start sharing ideas that would improve their neighborhoods.

That’s what Reset San Francisco is all about – getting more citizens engaged in the democratic process and in the conversation on how to make our cities, states and country better. And that first starts with the basic right to vote.

Please spend 5 minutes today and share this blog with your friends on Facebook – and remind them that this November Election will be an important one they won’t want to miss.

You have until October 22nd to register to vote, but don’t wait. Register today.