The state Senate held a hearing on how New York can join 15 other states and implement automatic voter registration. Advocates said it could result in 2 million more registered voters in a state that has one of the worst records for voter registration and participation.
Under the proposal, instead of opting in to vote, residents would opt out.
Currently, potential voters who go to a state agency, most commonly the DMV, for a service, are asked if they would also like to register to vote. Under the proposed system, the potential voter would be automatically registered to vote, but they would have the option of declining to be registered.
See full story here. Some interesting related research was published in the Election Law Journal where authors Quan Li, Michael J. Pomante II, and Scot Schraufnagel outline an innovative voting index system in their report titled “Cost of Voting in the American States”. The index helps reveal amazing data on how voting barriers vary by state.
According to the index’s findings for 2016, “voting was most difficult in Mississippi and… voting was easiest in Oregon, which was the only state to make use of automatic voter registration in 2016”. The poor state of Mississippi’s democracy should be a surprise to no one. Mississippi has no online voter registration system, no same-day voter registration, and no early voting. Photo ID is required. As a result of state voting laws, this year “little more than 13 percent of Mississippi’s registered voters (245,100 people) cast ballots in the June Republican and Democratic primaries”.