States Respond to Voting Registration Demands

With record low voting turnouts, adequate proposals to ease voter registration are being discussed by various states. Such regulatory changes are expected to increase voter turnout and have acquired much support from the American public thus far. This month, Oregon became the first state to use data from their Department of Motor Vehicles for the purpose of automatically registering voters.  

Online voting, same-day voting, and automatic voting registration are among the proposals that are under review. While many states are deliberating their election policies, Oregon became the first state to use data from their Department of Motor Vehicles for the purpose of automatically registering voters. Recent studies support such measure, revealing that a 54 percent of Americans support automatic registration. California is pursuing a measure that would make registration universal. However, a policy, such as compulsory voting, is strictly opposed by the public. 45 percent of Americans claim that such policy would alter election outcomes and two-thirds of the population opposes mandatory voting. 

                                                     

Michael McDonald, an associate professor of political science at the University of Florida, noted that allowing individuals to register to vote at the DMV has not significantly affected voter turnout. Instead, he proposes that mailing the ballot to an individual’s homes would serve as a reminder to vote and potentially increase voter participation. A recent study revealed that millions of Americans turned to the web in search of information on registering, which suggests that those individuals would have voted if they could have done so earlier.

Both same-day registration and automatic registration are supported by the American public. However, the former seems to be dived along partisan lines. Three-quarters of Democrats favor same-day registration, while only 36 perfect of Republicans do so. On the other hand, a majority of all Americans greatly support automatic voter registration.

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