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Automatic Voter Registration: One Antidote to Voter Suppression?

Who What Why

“Compared to any other democracy in the world, we have some of the lowest numbers in terms of participation and turnout,” Katherine Culliton-Gonzalez, a senior counsel for the think tank Demos, told WhoWhatWhy. [...]

In early 2015, the public policy think tank DEMOS projected that, if every state in the country were to adopt AVR, about 27 million voters would be added to the voting rolls. Given that the current estimate of eligible voters not registered to vote is 51 million, this would mean that universal adoption of AVR in the US would cut that figure in half.

And that is not the only dramatic impact AVR would have. DEMOS notes that the percentage of eligible white voters who are registered is much greater than the the percentage of eligible people of color. This registration gap is largely responsible for the fact that eligible white voters cast ballots at a much higher rate than minority groups. [...]

“We are for fair, free, and accessible elections. That is why AVR is a good idea,” Culliton-Gonzalez said.