Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is touting the state’s new, online voter registration system that will “go live” by January 1.

“The biggest thing is the convenience, 24/7,” Pate says. “If you’re working a night shift, you don’t have to worry about: Do I have to get up in the middle of my sleep day, if you will, to go out and register? No, you can just do it when you want online.”

Only 77 percent of eligible Iowans are currently registered to vote and Pate says adding the convenience of online voter registration will bring the state closer to the goal of full participation in the electoral process.

“It’s just one more tool that compliments Iowa’s aggressive approach to getting people involved in our government,” Pate says.

The Iowa DOT has helped develop the portal for online voter registration. Pate says 92 percent of Iowans who are currently registered to vote have a valid Iowa driver’s license or some form of state-issued ID.

Nebraska officials expect to introduce their state’s online voter registration service next week.

Pate spoke Thursday morning during a ceremony in Des Moines for 66 people who became naturalized U.S. citizens on Constitution Day. Pate encouraged them to register to vote and participate in Iowa elections, including the Iowa Caucuses on February 1.