Improvement to Voter Registration System Passed, Sent to Governor

The Delaware House has just approved SB 5, on a vote of 40-1. The bill will create an automatic voter registration system at the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, and potentially other state agencies. The bill was approved by the state Senate on March 30; it now heads to the desk of Gov. John Carney.

The new system is expected to cost less than $22,000 to implement.


Statement of Claire Snyder-Hall, Director of Common Cause Delaware

Common Cause Delaware applauds the passage of the Automatic Voter Registration bill (SB 5) by the General Assembly. Our government ‘by the people’ is stronger when more people participate, and with AVR in place, we move closer to the goal of 100%  voter registration.

The bill is much needed because according to Census estimates at least 10,000 Delawareans of voting age are not registered to vote. They also indicate that 12.6% of Delawareans have moved within the past year, and may not have updated their voter registration. AVR will address both those problems without requiring extra paperwork.

Other states that have implemented “AVR” have touted its benefits. For example, Georgia’s Secretary of State credits its AVR system with registering almost two-thirds of the Peach State’s voters. Oregon’s Governor called AVR a “phenomenal success” that increased registration among minorities, and less urban and less wealthy voters. Connecticut’s Secretary of State said AVR was “wildly successful” and credited it with adding 400,000 new voters and updating more than 550,000 previous registrations.

AVR has been adopted and implemented in 19 states, and is part of the “For the People Act” now being debated in the US Senate. If implemented nationwide, AVR could register up to 50 million new eligible voters while making voter registration rolls more accurate, saving money, and cutting down on confusion and other problems at the polls.