Universal Voter Registration
Universal voter registration would modernize voter registration in the United States. Government would be responsible for maintaining accurate and complete voter rolls, shifting our system from its current opt-in structure to an opt-out structure. Automatic universal voter registration would significantly reduce duplications and omissions on the voter rolls, resulting in a system that balances the twin goals of election accessibility and security.
Voter registration originated in the early 19th century as a method of disenfranchisement. Many states were concerned with the growing number of foreign-born transients participating in local government, and so they developed a system of registration to ensure that these non-citizens could not vote... [read more]
Complete and accurate voter rolls are essential to the integrity of the electoral process and the legitimacy of results. Yet, as evidenced by recent elections, voter rolls are littered with duplicate registrants and errors. Nearly a third of eligible American voters are not registered to vote and voter registration drives result in a surge of registrations close to an election that are difficult to process and that create unanticipated demands on polling places. As a result, millions of eligible voters are effectively shut out of the political process. [read more]
September 27, 2009 // The Fayetteville Observer
In January, North Carolina will become the third state to implement FairVote-endorsed youth preregistration.
July 24, 2009 // The New York Times
Editorial by the New York Times comes out in support of efforts now underway in the US Senate to modernize voter registration practices so that we "live up to the ideal of the founders of a nation governed with the consent of the governed."
July 20, 2009 // National Journal
Recent studies by the Brennan Center and U.S. PIRG show the need for universal voter registration in the U.S.