ACTION: Make Voter Registration Automatic in Your State
October 11, 2017
Make Voter Registration Automatic in Your State Every election season, thousands of volunteers toil endless hours on a task that need not exist at all: registering voters. And voters are denied the right to vote when told they are not registered.
Every election season, thousands of volunteers toil endless hours on a task that need not exist at all: registering voters. And voters are denied the right to vote when told they are not registered.
Oregon, California, West Virginia, Vermont, Connecticut, Alaska, D.C., Colorado, Rhode Island, Illinois, Georgia, and Nevada have made voter registration automatic. Your state is 100% capable of easily taking the same step.
Background: Oregonian: Arrival of Automatic Voter Registration Sacramento Bee: Automatic Voter Registration Sought in California The Nation: Oregon's Radical Innovation: Make Democracy Easy Thirty-Nine States Do Automatic Registration . . . for a Draft Connecticut to Automatically Register 400,000 Voters
Thirty-nine states have automatic registration for a military draft.
With automatic registration for voting -- an opt-out option instead of "jump through hoops to register," as required in many states -- nobody is required to vote or even be registered. Rather, a government that already knows who we are through motor vehicle and other departments simply allows us to vote. (And the DMV in many states requires stricter proof of identity and citizenship than does traditional registration; and traditional registration remains available.)
As a result, more people vote and candidates have to win the votes of more people. Quite possibly more candidates gain traction.
It becomes easier to place initiatives on the ballot by gathering the signatures of registered voters.
Volunteers could set aside the endless work of voter registration and instead promote the policy positions they care about.