Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) has proposed a bill to automatically register Americans to vote, fresh off of similar calls by Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton. “Today, too many politicians are trying to make it harder than ever for citizens to make their voices heard at the ballot box,” Cicilline said in a statement on Wednesday. “The Automatic Voter Registration Act will protect the right to vote and expand access for eligible voters across the United States. I thank my colleagues who have co-sponsored this important legislation that helps to expand one of our most essential rights as Americans.”
The Rhode Islander’s bill would require local motor vehicle departments to forward individuals’ information to elections officials, who would then send the person a notification that they’ll be registered to vote after 21-days. Anyone can opt out of the registration before that 21-day window is up, but they will be automatically registered unless they do so. Federal law currently requires that citizens be given the option to vote when visiting motor vehicle departments.
Cicilline told The Hill in an interview that his bill “reverses the presumption” to take the burden of registering off of the potential voter. “Currently, you have to take an affirmative act to vote and register and as a result of that, a number of people never register and as a consequence don’t have the ability to participate in our elections,” he said.
Full Article: Dem unveils automatic voter registration bill | TheHill.