With the news that Colorado’s governor just signed a bill to expand their automatic voting registration program, I wondered how many other states in 2019 were looking at similar bills.
The Brennan Center for Justice keeps close tabs on this topic, and regularly updates their website with the latest activity in each state legislature. In the map below, you’ll see in yellow those states that have already enacted automatic voter registration (AVR), and in pink, those states that have introduced some type of AVR legislation this year. Check it out:
That’s a whole lot of states looking at AVR! Oregon was the first to enact AVR back in 2015 and saw significant jumps in registered voters right away. Just in that first year, they had nearly 100,000 new voters who voted in the 2016 election! You can see more about the incredible impacts AVR has had in Oregon HERE.
How You Can Help
If Oregon’s success with voter registration is something you’d like to see replicated in your state, clearly, there’s a better chance than not that your state legislators are considering some type of AVR bill right now. Now you need to get engaged.
- You’ll need to be in touch with your local legislators. Get their names and contact information HERE.
- If your state is shaded in pink in Brennan Center’s map above, then look HERE for the name/number of the bill your state is considering. You’ll need that when you’re speaking to your legislator’s office.
- Prepare for your call (or email) to your legislator by thinking about why you want AVR in your state. You can reference Oregon’s results or read the Case for Automatic Voter Registration to make your argument stronger.
After you’ve called your state legislators to make your case for why you want them to pass an AVR bill, start spreading the word and help influence others to call about the issue, too. You might consider reaching out to your local League of Women Voters chapter as they often organize around the issue of voter registration, or perhaps bring it up with the local Democratic club you’re involved in. Your call is important; getting others to join the cause can snag you the win you’re looking for.
Let’s make registering to vote easier!