Brennan Center President Highlights Automatic Voter Registration’s Potential to Boost Turnout

Posted by Ethan Fitzgerald on June 08, 2016

The Atlantic recently published an interview with Michael Waldman, President of the the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. Waldman discussed his new book, The Fight to Vote and the diverging trends in American voting rights in the wake of Shelby County v. Holder. While some states have pursued policies that make ballot access more difficult and suppress turnout, others are expanding the voter rolls with automatic voter registration - a piece of FairVote’s reform vision.

As Waldman explains, policies like automatic voter registration - which has been enacted in four states and was recently passed by both houses of the Illinois legislature - bring the US in line with most other democracies by having “the government [take] on the responsibility of ensuring that everybody who’s eligible to vote is on the rolls.” Shifting this burden away from individuals is a key step in increasing voter turnout especially without a guaranteed right to vote in the Constitution, something the interview also discusses. FairVote was the first national voting organization to support this reform, and we call on lawmakers in all states to adopt this practice to achieve the twin goals of election accessibility and security.

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