Last week it was Maryland and on Thursday it was New Jersey – the list of states inviting qualified residents to participate in our democracy by automatically registering them to vote continues to grow.
The New Jersey State Assembly voted 50-23 and the Senate 24-13 for an automatic registration (AVR) bill that will add eligible voters to the rolls whenever they do business with state agencies. Those who do not wish to vote will be able to opt-out.
Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to sign the bill; when he does, New Jersey will be the 12th state – plus Washington, D.C. – with AVR.
Election officials say that in addition to substantially increasing the number of people who are able to vote, automatic registration helps them maintain accurate voter rolls and thus makes elections run more smoothly. With AVR, the records of those already registered are updated to reflect the changes of address they report when they renew their driver’s licenses, purchase new cars and do other business with the state.
You can find a list of states with AVR here. If your state isn’t on it, call, write, or email your statehouse representative and legislative candidates to let them know they should embrace this simple, low cost way to help more people participate in our democracy.
Issues: Voting and Elections