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Online voter registration bill advances in Pennsylvania

| Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 3:57 p.m.

HARRISBURG — A bill to allow Pennsylvanians to register online to vote has the unanimous approval of a key legislative committee.

The Senate State Government Committee approved the bill Tuesday and sent it to the full chamber.

The Pennsylvania Department of State, which oversees elections, had begun setting up an online voter registration system last year. But a spokesman said it was dropped amid complaints from county officials that they were swamped with the demands of Pennsylvania's new voter identification law.

Spokesman Ron Ruman says Department of State officials now believe it's better to create online registration through legislation rather than administratively.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says 15 states have approved online voter registration and it's a hot topic elsewhere, with bills circulating in 14 states.

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