Members of a state senate committee approved a bill today Monday that would automatically update a person’s voter registration when they renew a driver license. Tens of thousands of voters move every year and don’t update their new address with elections officials, says Brian McKenzie, who works in the Davis County Clerk’s office. “A lot of people think that if they update their information with the post office or with the driver’s license (division), then it’s automatically transferred over to voter registration, which it’s not,” he says.
When renewing a driver license, voters currently need to check a box in order to update their voter information. McKenzie told members of the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee on Monday that most people don’t realize that, which is one reason there was a huge wave of last-minute voter registrations in the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton’s House Bill 159 would change the current opt-in system to opt-out. Handy says while the bill has support from voter access groups and the Lt. Governor’s office, he didn’t draft it to make it easier to vote.