Published March 20, 2019 / Updated August 7, 2020
Life Is A Highway
There have been 67 bills introduced in 25 states related to automatic voter registration
As of March 15, 2019, there have been 67 bills introduced in 25 states which relate to automatic voter registration (AVR). These bills seek to connect democratic participation with vehicular freedom by creating an opt-out system of voter registration that will replace the current opt-in system many of us are familiar with. This new process will be accomplished by revamping the current Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) application for an initial, renewal, or duplication of a driver’s license or state issued ID card, to include language that automatically registers the applicant to vote.
Those in favor of AVR say that the opt-in process, through a routine and necessary transaction — interaction with the DMV — means that voters won’t have to worry about registration deadlines or application submissions. One trip to the DMV will give them a license to drive and an equally important license to vote. They will, in a sense, be automatically enfranchised. Proponents say that this process may also result in greater voter turnout and cleaner voter registration rolls because the process updates existing registrations with current addresses, both of which will lend itself to more efficient elections.
Those opposed to AVR say that the opt-out process is an infringement on an individual's First Amendment right to free speech and that the government should not be in the business of telling Americans what to do. Opponents also fear that non-citizens will be registered to vote though the twelve states that permit non-citizens to have drivers licenses have not found evidence of increased voter fraud as a result.
Here’s What You Can Do
Here are the states that have pending legislation: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont.
If you live in one of the above states, send STATE to Resistbot and encourage your state legislature to support Automatic Voter Registration. And, as always, you can write to Congress about this or any other topic by sending the word Resist to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or as a Twitter direct message. If none of those work for you, Resistbot also supports old fashioned SMS: text RESIST to 50409 to get started. It takes 2 minutes to get going 🚗✔.