Election officials have a lot to say about few lawmakers’ plan for automatic voter registration. The bill has begun making its way through the capitol. If approved, the bill will do exactly what it sounds like: automatically register voters from the DMV. It’s routine when updating your drivers license or ID card. DMV employee will ask if you want to apply to register to vote. “Instead of being notified that they can register to vote, they will be notified that they are now registered to vote,” said Jackson County Clerk Larry Reinhardt. A new measure recently filed would give employees the go ahead to register people when doing business at the secretary of state’s office. It would allow anyone to decline if they choose. Employees will not be allowed to transmit a person’s identification to the applicable election authority if they say no.
“The process itself, for the most part, will remain the same, just that they will register everyone who comes in as opposed to asking people whether they want to or not,” explained Reinhardt.
There are two issues he would like to see cleared up before the bill is considered. One is timing on applications versus actual registration because the secretary of state’s office doesn’t actually register voters.
“The form still has to be forwarded to our office. They become a registered voter the day they are processed in our voter database.”