Voting

What Happened When 2.2 Million People Were Automatically Registered To Vote

As recently as 2015, automatic voter registration did not exist in the United States. Yet today, 16 states plus the District of Columbia have enacted (though in several cases, not yet implemented) some version of AVR. Almost overnight, it has become a core part of the agenda for those who want to make it easier for more people to vote. This year alone, AVR bills have been introduced in 39 states.1 Where they can’t convince the legislature, AVR advocates sometimes take their case to the people — Alaska, Michigan and Nevada have all enacted the policy via ballot measure. And someday, AVR could become a national mandate: It was a centerpiece of H.R. 1, the voting-rights bill passed earlier this year by the newly Democratically controlled U.S. House of Representatives.

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