Democrats’ Voter Registration Portal Part of Obama 2012 Outreach

Democrats and the Obama campaign are rolling out a new voter registration website as part of an aggressive early effort to help get supporters back to the polls., officially a project of the Democratic National Committee,  is intended to offer one-stop-shopping for voters with interactive registration instructions for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

While Democrats have launched similar tools in the past, such as e.g. in 2008, an Obama campaign official said the new system features accompanying smartphone and tablet apps, and automated email reminders to help voters follow through.

The website comes as part of a broader campaign to educate voters about new laws in a handful of states that impose stricter voter ID requirements and shorter early voting periods, among other restrictions. Democrats worry the laws, coupled with waning voter enthusiasm, could hurt them in battleground states in 2012.

Obama tapped into 15 million first-time voters in 2008.  Since then, Democrats have seen registrations slip in a number of key states.

In Florida, for example, 4.8 million voters registered as Democrats in 2008. As of Aug. 31, just 4.5 million had identified as the same. Meanwhile, Republican registrations have held steady, and the number of unaffiliated voters remains high at 2.2 million.

Another snapshot: in Pennsylvania, officials reported just 4.15 million Democrats registered through May of this year, compared with 4.48 million registered for the presidential election three years ago.

Democrats are working to close those gaps in a bid to keep Obama in the White House.

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