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Bipartisan group launches bid for automatic registration in Ohio

Ohio may become the biggest battleground state to have automatic voter registration in time for the next election.

A bipartisan coalition of state legislators joined GOP Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Wednesday in announcing the drive to enact a measure making Ohio the 18th state where eligible people are automatically registered whenever they interact with a state agency – most frequently the motor vehicle bureau – unless they say they want to opt out.

"If we don't hear from you for six years, and if you don't respond to this mailing, we make the assumption that you've moved or that you've passed on," LaRose said. "We can do a lot better than that in the year 2019, and come up with a system that doesn't inconvenience infrequent voters ... while at the same time maintains an accurate list."

The lawmakers said the switch could add as many as 1 million to the rolls in Ohio, which has voted for the winner in 14 straight presidential elections. Of the 17 states that have created automatic voter registrations, just four went for Donald Trump in 2016.

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