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Democrats push for automatic voter registration in Wisconsin, New York

Progressive lawmakers in Wisconsin and New York want to make voting easier for their constituents by creating automatic registration systems.

In Wisconsin, funding for automatic voter registration was removed from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' budget by Republicans, but some liberal legislators are still fighting. They have introduced a bill that would automatically register residents when they receive or renew their driver's licenses or state ID cards, Wisconsin Public Radio reports.

New York Democrats are also pushing for automatic voter registration. On Thursday, state lawmakers will hear input from experts and officials on the logistics of creating an AVR system, per the New York Daily News. Earlier this session, Democrats in Albany took advantage of their control of both legislative chambers by passing other voter-friendly bills with the hopes of boosting state election participation.

Wisconsin and New York join a growing state-led movement to implement automatic voter registration. Over the past five years, 15 states and the District of Columbia have adopted AVR — most through partnerships with state agencies, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles.

After adopting automatic registration systems, these states have seen significant increases to their voting populations, according to research conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice. Washington, D.C., saw the most modest growth, with a registration bump of 9.4 percent. Georgia, on the other hand, had its voting population skyrocket by 93.7 percent.
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