Earlier this month, Oregon became the first state in the nation to automatically register voters using data from the Department of Motor Vehicles, a move that stands in contrast to voting restrictions many states have enacted in recent years. “I challenge every other state in this nation to examine their policies and find ways to ensure that there are as few barriers as possible in the way of a citizen’s right to vote,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said at the bill’s signing ceremony. Most Americans are in favor of enacting a similar proposal in their own state, a new survey finds. A 54 percent majority of Americans say they’d favor an automatic registration law in their state, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, while 55 percent favor allowing eligible citizens to register on the day of an election.
But there’s stringent opposition to making voting compulsory, an idea that President Barack Obama briefly floated this month as a potentially “transformative” policy to counteract the effects of big money on politics. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest quickly walked back the idea.
Many agree that mandatory voting could change things: 45 percent say that election outcomes would be very different if voting were required. But they also fiercely dislike the idea. Two-thirds say they oppose mandatory voting, with nearly half strongly against it.