Washington D.C. The 2016 elections may be a little more than a year away—but the push to increase voter turnout is already beginning.
Currently when you get your driver’s license, you have the option to also register to vote-but what if that was a requirement?
Some lawmakers want to increase voter turnout by automatically registering you to vote when picking up your driver’s license.
“The entire voting process should be made as easy as possible,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois. She’s co-sponsoring a bill called the Automatic Voter Registration Act. If passed, anyone over the age of 18 would be automatically registered to vote when applying for a driver’s license.
Bustos says there’s too many obstacles in the way to let your voice be heard.
“Throughout the nation we still have some issues where there are roadblocks to voting we want to remove those and make voting as easy as possible,” said Bustos.
But other lawmakers aren’t sold on this idea—they fear if everybody is
automatically registered—the whole voting process can’t be trusted.
“I would be concerned about fraud, it’s not that hard to get registered to vote,” said Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Jordan is against this bill. He thinks the Automatic Voter Registration Act will increase distrust in the voting system.
“One of the things I believe in is the photo ID is good, we have that in Ohio and some states that have implemented a photo ID requirement for voting have actually seen turnout go up,” said Jordan.
“Our hope is that you’ve got as many people as humanly possible that will go to the voting polls going forward,” said Bustos.
If this bill passes, there would be a 3-week window to opt out of the automatic registration.