A Popular Voting Reform Could Add 22 Million Americans To The Rolls, Analysis Shows

Simply changing how people are offered the opportunity to register to vote could result in 22 million people being added to voter rolls across the United States, according to a new analysis.

Since 1993, federal law has required motor vehicle departments and some other state agencies to offer people the opportunity to register to vote when they interact with them. Last year, Oregon became the first state in the country to automatically register people when they interact with the department of motor vehicles. The state’s elections division then sends a postcard giving residents the choice of opting out. The system added 375,000 voters to the state’s rolls in the first year and a half, including, by one estimate, at least 116,000 people who would not have registered on their own.

Nine other states and the District of Columbia have joined Oregon in passing laws to implement similar processes, often referred to as automatic voter registration, or AVR, though each state has slight variations. A new report by the left-leaning Center for American Progress (CAP) estimated that 22 million people would be added to the rolls in the first year if every state in the country implemented Oregon’s system. That includes 9.5 million who would have been unlikely to become registered without the process.

The numbers provide more evidence of how powerful automatic voter registration could be. Since Oregon enacted the system, advocates see it as potentially transformative in bringing millions of Americans into the political process. Interest in the reform has risen amid President Donald Trump’s accusations of voter fraud and pushes by conservative legal groups to force election officials to purge voter rolls.

“Democracy works best when all voices are heard. AVR is a commonsense way to modernize the voter registration process, keep voter rolls up-to-date and secure, and remove obstacles to voter participation,” Liz Kennedy, CAP’s director of democracy and government reform and a co-author of the report, said in a statement. “The current system in most states, which puts the burden on individuals to get and stay registered, places an unnecessary barrier to voter participation. AVR is poised to bring millions of citizens into America’s political process.”

The report projects nearly 3 million voters could be added to the rolls in California, which is poised to implement automatic voter registration next year. It could also add nearly 1.6 million voters in…

Read the full article from the Source…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *