Who wants to hear some good news regarding voting rights?
Last week, New York became the 20th state to adopt Automatic Voter Registration! Although it will take a couple of years to go into effect, this legislation creates a system that will automatically register New Yorkers to vote when they visit a DMV or other state agency, unless they choose to opt out.
Oregon was the first to enact AVR in 2015, and every state that has adopted it has seen voter registration increase by a lot. Just in the first year after enacting AVR, Oregon saw the rate of registrations at DMVs quadruple!
As for turnout, AVR is correlated to an increase in turnout, but particularly with young voters (aged 18-22) and lower income voters. The increase was anywhere between 4-6%.
Let’s take a moment to celebrate!! Good job, New York!
If getting Automatic Voter Registration in your state is something you are passionate about, I have a couple of recommendations for you.
First, read The Case for Automatic Voter Registration. Whether you want to talk about it with friends or with your state legislator’s staff, be able to talk convincingly about the subject.
Then, I recommend you reach out to your local chapter of the League of Women Voters. One of their central missions is voter registration, and your local League will know the status of any efforts to get AVR in your state and can suggest actions you can participate in.
Getting more citizens registered to vote, and then voting, is crucial for our democracy.
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