The civil rights marchers who were attacked in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 were attempting to register to vote. The question that people should be asking all these years later is: Why should anyone have to register at all? On Monday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill that eliminates the need for most citizens to submit registration forms in order to exercise their constitutional right to vote. That legislation, the first in the country, arises from a simple idea: Government should not force people to file more forms than necessary. (If you disagree, you may have a future career with the Internal Revenue Service.)
Because most individuals already document their citizenship when obtaining their driver’s license, state governments know that such people — so long as they’re at least 18 and have not lost their voting rights because of a criminal conviction — are eligible to vote. It’s just a matter of sharing the information with the agency that oversees elections, which is what Oregon will begin doing.
Data sharing between Oregon’s Department of Motor Vehicles and its secretary of state’s office, which oversees its elections, will add about 300,000 people to the voter rolls, and that number will increase as more people renew their licenses. When people notify the Oregon DMV of an address change, that information will be sent to the secretary of state, too. Government agencies using technology to share information that makes it easier for people to exercise their rights and responsibilities should be a principle that both parties can support.
Full Article: Want More Voters? Abolish Registration.