Automatic voter registration (AVR) is an innovative policy that streamlines the way Americans register to vote. AVR makes two simple, yet transformative, changes to the way our country has traditionally registered voters. First, AVR makes voter registration “opt-out” instead of “opt-in”—eligible citizens who interact with government agencies are registered to vote or have their existing registration information updated, unless they affirmatively decline. Again, the voter can opt-out; it is not compulsory registration. Second, those agencies transfer voter registration information electronically to election officials instead of using paper registration forms. These common-sense reforms increase registration rates, clean up the voter rolls, and save states money.
AVR is gaining momentum across the country. Currently fifteen states and D.C. have approved the policy, meaning that over a third of Americans live in a jurisdiction that has either passed or implemented AVR. A brief history of AVR’s legislative victories and each state’s AVR implementation date can be found here. In this legislative cycle alone, twenty five states have introduced legislation to implement or expand automatic registration. A full breakdown of these bills, as well as those introduced in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 is available here.
The results have been exciting. Since Oregon became the first state in the nation to implement AVR in 2016, the Beaver State has seen registration rates quadruple at DMV offices. In the first six months after AVR was implemented in Vermont on New Year’s Day 2017, registration rates jumped 62 percent when compared to the first half of 2016. Read the full article at Brennan Center.
Take Action: Support automatic voter registration.
Verify: Does your state have Automatic Voter Registration (AVR)? Tennessee, we do NOT. (look up)
Call: Your two state legislators (look up) and state elections official (look up).
Script 1 (for states without AVR): Hi. I’m from [ZIP] and I support automatic voter registration. A new report documents the huge impact of AVR, showing that it can increase voter registrations from 9% to 94%. AVR also empowers citizens with disabilities to exercise their right to vote. What is [NAME] doing to pass legislation to implement AVR in [STATE]?
Script 2 (for 16 states with AVR): I’m so glad that [State] has Automatic Voter Registration. Thank you for supporting voter participation, especially for our neighbors with disabilities.
Thanks to our friends at Americans of Conscience for this action. Follow and subscribe at AmericansofConscience.com
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Awesome artivist image by Lisa Vollrath courtesy of Amplifier