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Alaska's Oil Cash Now Comes with Automatic Voter Registration

Bloomberg Businessweek

Under the new law, passed by referendum Tuesday, Alaskans who sign up to receive their annual payouts from the state’s oil wealth trust will also automatically be added to the state's voter rolls.

The vote makes Alaska the sixth state to have approved some form of automatic voter registration. Just two years ago, there were none.[...]

Alaska's oil cash is unique, but its passage Tuesday of automatic registration underscores voting-rights advocates’ larger ambitions—to spread the policy beyond blue states and from the DMV to a wider range of agencies with access to citizens’ data.

“In the voting rights community, the idea of universal voter registration through automatic voter registration has never died,” says Lisa Danetz, legal director for the progressive think tank Demos. “It’s always been out there; it’s always been viewed as the goal.”[...]