Phyllis young

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In this discussion you will make a total of three posts, one initial post and two reply posts. Initial posts should be a minimum of 200-250 words. Reply posts should be a minimum of 100-150 words. Points will be deducted for not meeting the minimum word count requirements. 

Note: You must make an initial post before you can see what others have posted.

Please respond to the following:

Are you in favor of automatic voter registration? Why or why not? What do you see as the positives and/ or negatives of automatic registration? Do you think automatic registration will increase voter turnout? Why or why not?  

The article that I uploaed may help with some background information on the issue. You may want to do additional research on the issue prior to posting if you are unfamiliar with automatic voter registration laws.


Automatic Voter Registration
Automatic voter registration can be seen as new, or it can be
seen as an updated version of processes put in place by the
National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).
That law, also known as “motor voter,” pioneered a new way of
registering to vote in America. It required most states to provide
citizens with an opportunity to register to vote when applying for
or renewing a driver’s license.
Now, states are taking this model one step further. Instead of
giving someone the choice to register at the motor vehicle
agency, some states automatically register that person to vote,
unless the person decides to opt-out of voter registration.
As of December 8, 2016, six states and the District of Columbia
have authorized automatic voter registration. See the table below
for details.



Bill Number


Alaska* 2016 Measure 1 n/a

California 2015 A 1461 n/a

Connecticut** 2016


District of

2016 B21-0194 n/a

Oregon 2015 HB 2177 2016

Vermont 2016 HB 458 n/a

West Virginia 2016 HB 4013 n/a

*Measure 1 in Alaska uses the Permanent Fund rather than the
Department of Motor Vehicles.
**Agreement between Secretary of State and Department of
Motor Vehicles without authorizing legislation.

How Automatic Voter Registration Works

Currently, voter registration is an “opt in” policy, where an eligible
voter chooses to fill out a registration application, which gets
reviewed and processed before the name goes on the voter rolls.

Automatic voter registration is an “opt out” policy in which an
eligible voter is placed on the rolls unless they actively decline to
be registered.
The process begins at the motor vehicle agency. When citizens
apply for, renew or replace a driver’s license, permit or
identification card, their relevant information—including name,
address, date of birth and signature—is shared electronically with
the state election agency. That registration application is then
verified for eligibility (citizenship, age and residency), compared
to the information with what’s already in the statewide voter
registration database and, if there is no existing registration, the
person is added to the voter rolls.
States have addressed the ability of voters to opt-out of
registration in different ways. In California, West Virginia and
Vermont, individuals will be given the opportunity to opt-out at the
point of contact with the motor vehicle agency.
In Oregon, the election agency mails the voter a registration
notification card after their transaction at the motor vehicle
agency. At that time, the voter is assigned a “pending” status for
21 days, in which time they can do one of three things:

� Choose a party affiliation and mail back a completed card.
� Select the option declining to be registered and mail back the

� Take no action and thus become registered as an unaffiliated

voter after 21 days.

What Are the Benefits of Automatic Voter Registration?

Proponents of automatic voter registration say the policy will
remove barriers to registration for eligible voters, the first step on
the way to voter participation. By registering through a routine and
necessary transaction, voters won’t have to worry about
registration deadlines or application submissions. In a sense, they
are automatically enfranchised.
Automatic registration also will lead to cleaner voter registration
rolls. This, in turn, will lead to more efficient elections, with the
added benefit of reducing the use of costly provisional ballots,
which are a fail-safe voting option when there is a discrepancy in
a voter’s registration status. Some supporters also expect
automatic voter registration to lead to higher voter turnout.

What Are the Disadvantages of Automatic Voter Registration?

Opponents of automatic voter registration have concerns that the
government should not be in the business of telling citizens what
to do or that they have to be registered to vote. They may see
automatic voter registration as an infringement upon the First
Amendment right to free speech.
They question whether Oregon’s opt-out form that is sent and
received through the mail, in the electronic age, is sufficient to
ensure an individual can decline to register. Fraud is also a
concern, as some have questioned whether the process can

adequately filter out noncitizens who are able to obtain state
identification cards legally.
Opponents also argue that more voter registration does not
necessarily lead to higher voter turnout. Just because a voter is
registered does not mean he or she will actually vote on Election
Day. Further, some add that automatic registration would not be
necessary if states properly implemented the existing National
Voter Registration Act. Many states continue to struggle to do so
22 years after it was enacted, due to inadequate information
sharing between agencies and a lack of oversight. It remains to
be seen whether more voters will get to the polls because of
automatic voter registration.


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