10-Point Expert: California’s Automatic Voter Registration Law

Voting Booth

“Hold on, this is a thing?!?” – Every Registered Voter in a State with Voter ID Laws  



A little lost when it comes to issues of public policy? Felling like this guy? Well relax, we’re here to help. This is 10-Point Expert, a series of articles that examine policies which are currently being introduced to the political landscape, in 10 simple to understand points. For this installment we talk about the new California law that automatically registers people to vote.



Point 1: Last weekend California governor Jerry Brown signed a new law that would allow the state to automatically register citizens to vote. Starting in 2016, the new California law lets the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) register individuals, who want to vote, automatically if they’re applying for a driver’s license, state ID, or filling out a change of address form.


Point 2: Now for those who prefer to “live off the grid”, you have to option of opting out to be automatically registered to vote. So relax.


Off the Grid Book

“If you have this book, the second point probably applies to you. Also you’re probably seeing this at a local library, so if you are, don’t be hogging all the scheduled Internet time! The clipboard at the check-out counter exists for a reason!!”


Point 3: California isn’t the only state to automatically register its citizens to vote. Earlier this year, a similar law in Oregon was passed to allow automatic voter registration and North Dakota went a step further doing away with voter registration completely!


Point 4: In a recent Los Angeles Times article, they estimated that 7.6 million of California’s population was eligible to vote, but had not been registered to in the last election.


Point 5: The debate of automatic voter registration is a measure that is deeply divided by party lines. While Democrats overwhelmingly favor the measure, Republicans look to be vehemently against it.


Point 6: While Republicans admit that the law would improve low voter registration rates in this country, they also claim it could “significantly damage the integrity of the American Voting system” through potential voter fraud.


Point 7: In the past few years, many GOP controlled state legislatures have created various barriers, making it harder for individuals to commit voter fraud. However… they also made it harder for individuals to vote. Obstacles like establishing voter registration deadlines months before actual elections and/or requiring people to show a state issued photo ID on Election Day, has made it harder for millions to vote.


Point 8: “Shockingly”, many of these harsher voting standards have affected those in poorer black neighborhoods in most states. Or aka, regions where Democratic voting is strong.


Shocking Joey gif


Point 9: While these initiatives are told to be put in place to deter voter fraud, it’s important to state that you have a better chance at either being struck by lightning (576,000 to 1) or sleeping with a super model (880,000 to 1) than to be a victim of voter fraud (32,000,000,000 to 1) in the US.


Point 10: Currently there are 16 states – plus District Columbia (Washington, DC) and in the US Congress – that have legislation in place for automatic voter registration, similar to the measures passed in California and Oregon. In fact, New Jersey’s legislature passed a bill that would give their citizens automatic voter registration privileges, but it looks like their governor Chris Christie isn’t going to sign it into law


Flipping Over the Table


Our thoughts exactly.



(Photo Credit: Google Images)  


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