Monday, May 11, 2015

Automatic Voter Registration Would Totally Change The Political Climate

An effective way to make it easier for all citizens to have their voices heard is make make voting more accessible. One of the most progressive methods for doing that is Automatic Voter Registration (AVR).

AVR would be the much needed reform to the currently antiquated voter registration process that discourages registration and is bloated errors and invalid information.

The current registration process is plagued by two problems - paperwork and parties. In most states, citizens who wish to vote must obtain and fill out a paper application. Between the 2006 and 2008 elections, for instance, states had to process 60 million registration applications, most of them on paper. The voter’s information is then entered manually into a statewide database. Errors inevitably occur along the way. Moreover, most states demand that voters notify their election office of a change of address, and few jurisdictions have an adequate system for taking dead people off the rolls. The result is that many statewide lists are filled not just with errors but with “deadwood” (registrations that are no long valid).(Source)

Automatic Voter Registration makes it possible for states to integrate information from existing government databases like departments of motor vehicles, the U.S. Postal Service, revenue agencies, and others. The compilation of data would update the voting rolls with information that they already collect. Oregon recently became the first state in the country to implement this type of system, and it expects to add 300,000 people to voter rolls as a result.

A report from the Center for Popular Democracy outlines some of the impacts AVR would have across the country. The most notable impact would be possible addition of 55 million new voters added to the polls.

Automatic voter registration is gaining momentum. California, recently advanced its own AVR bill and could be the next state to implement this important voting enhancement measure.

With more and more political agendas being driven by billionaires like the Koch Brothers policies like automatic voter registration would counter the effect big money has on politics. It would this by registering millions of voters that would in turn raise voter turnout, and add a level of fairness to our democratic system.

If and when an AVR measure is up for consideration in your state, it's worth your efforts to support it to fruition.

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