State Reps. Julie Plawecki (D-Dearborn Heights), John Chirkun (D-Roseville) and Derek Miller (D-Warren) introduced three bills Sept. 30 that would make voter registration automatic when a resident receives a driver’s license or a Michigan state identification card as long as they meet the usual qualifications to vote. “Automatic voter registration means people won’t miss registration deadlines or make a special trip to an SOS office,” said Plawecki. “Legislators talk a lot about representing the people. Our plan to automate voter registration means that we will definitely be representing all of the people who are qualified to vote. This ensures that every voice will be heard. ” The bill package would not change who can vote or how they can vote, according to a statement from Michigan House Democrats. For anyone who doesn’t want to be automatically registered when they receive their driver’s license or state ID card, they can still opt out.
“Our plan would make voter registration simple and secure through an existing process through the Michigan Secretary of State,” said Miller. “Too many people don’t vote because they haven’t registered. Many others find out too late that they aren’t registered to vote at their current address. Our plan makes it simple and knocks down at least one barrier that keeps people from exercising their right to vote.”
Similar legislation was put into place earlier this year in Oregon, and in California the California New Motor Voter Act was recently approved and is expected to be signed into law.