Editorials: Automatic voter registration would boost Utah democracy | Chase Thomas and Judi Hilman/The Salt Lake Tribune

The “right to vote” is mentioned five times in the Constitution — more than the right to free speech, the right to bear arms or the right to privacy (which most of us believe is a fundamental right but is not even mentioned in the Constitution). It is then shocking to learn that many do not consider voting to be a “right” and that millions of people every year are denied this basic democratic function. The Constitution protects a citizen’s right to vote regardless of race, gender and age, while prohibiting states from making it more difficult to vote through devices such as poll taxes. Despite these protections, there is no Constitutional provision that guarantees every United States citizen the right to vote. As a consequence, states have, for years, used a variety of “creative” means to limit some citizens’ ability to vote.

California: Assembly OKs two different approaches to boost voter registration | Los Angeles Times

In a bid to improve California’s lagging voter participation, lawmakers in the Assembly approved two measures Tuesday that aim to increase registration among eligible citizens. One bill, by Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to satisfy the existing federal “Motor Voter” law, under which eligible individuals can choose to register to vote when getting a drivers license at the DMV. “For 22 years, the DMV has only partially complied with Motor Voter,” said Levine. “Because of this partial compliance, Motor Voter has been a failure in California.” Levine noted that Gov. Jerry Brown had set aside money to update the department’s technology, making such compliance possible. His bill, AB 786, passed the Assembly on a 53-13 vote.