Recently, Google launched a portal making it easy for Americans to register to vote. But according to Gregory Ferenstein of TechCrunch, the good-faith effort may not have the desired effect:

[E]xperimental research into the impact of such online registration systems finds that they actually decrease registration. Apparently, the ease of the online process lulls citizens into complacency and they forget to follow through with the rest of the process. The unfortunate drawback can be offset with SMS reminders, which TurboVote encourages. So, depending on the number of people comfortable giving Google their digits, this well-intentioned experiment could backfire.