LANSING – State Representatives Derek Miller (D-Warren), John Chirkun (D-Roseville) and Julie Plawecki (D-Dearborn Heights) today introduced three bills that would make voter registration automatic when a resident receives a driver’s license or a Michigan state identification card, if that person meets the necessary qualifications to vote in Michigan.
“Our plan would make voter registration simple and secure through an existing process through the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS),” 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.”
The bill package does not change who can vote or how a person votes. It simply registers people to vote automatically when they receive a driver’s license or state ID card. If a person does not want to register to vote they can sign a form opting out. The bill package also registers people to vote who are updating their address. Automatic registration would only apply to people who already meet voter registration qualifications.
“People need either a driver’s license or a state ID, so why not use that application process to take care of voter registration,” said Chirkun. “As citizens of the great state of Michigan and the United States, voting is one of our most important tasks. Automatic voter registration for qualified residents means that more people will have the chance to exercise their constitutional right to vote.”
Oregon enacted automatic voter registration earlier this year. The California Legislature also recently approved the California New Motor Voter Act, and it’s expected to be signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.
“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.”