Philadelphia, PA. SeniorLAW Center celebrates the Wolf Administration’s decision to allow eligible Pennsylvanians the opportunity to register online to vote. “SeniorLAW is proud to have been a strong advocate for voting rights for seniors, the poor and other vulnerable populations who bravely fought, marched, bled and suffered for that right. We are excited and pleased that the voting process is becoming easier, not harder, in Pennsylvania,” said SeniorLAW Center Executive Director Karen C. Buck. Pennsylvania now joins 22 other states in providing online registration for eligible voters.
Online registration is good news for older Pennsylvanians. Older adults are using the internet in rapidly increasing numbers. A 2012 Pew Research Center study found that for the first time more than half of older adults (defined as 65 or older) reported being internet users. http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/03/older-adults-and-technology-use/. This study found that almost 60% of seniors go online – a six percentage point increase in the course of a year.
Health-focused surveys have found that at least ¾ of Medicare recipients access the Internet, “at least once a day, for email (91 percent) or to conduct online searches (73 percent)… The survey results are in line with findings of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which shows Internet use between 2000 and 2012 tripled for those 65 and older…” http://www.healthcare-informatics.com/news-item/tech-savvy-seniors-seek-digital-tools-manage-health-survey.
Congratulations to all our fellow voting advocates who have led the way, including our colleagues at PA Voice, ACLU Pennsylvania and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. Per PILCOP Executive Director Jennifer Clarke: “Allowing voters to register online ensures that all eligible Pennsylvanians, including veterans, seniors, new Americans, working people and people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to make their voices heard. During the 2014 election, 20% of Pennsylvania’s eligible voters were not registered, which significantly contributed to the state’s low voter turnout.”
Read more about the Wolf Administration decision here.