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Tell the US Department of Justice to Enact a Nationwide Automatic Voter Registration System

7,720 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

25.73% Complete

Sponsor: The Veterans Site

Voting is a right and a duty, so why are we making it so difficult?

The United States has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in all the developed countries on the planet [1]. Voting is our constitutional right and our civic duty, but the current voting situation in the United States requires potential voters to "opt in" to rather than "opt out" of voting [2]. That means people in many states have to put in extra work and complete extra steps == usually paper applications which are then manually entered into a database -- in order to receive the right to vote they should possess by default as American citizens [3].

The current voter registration system also poses a significant issue for many voters on election day and has the potential to cause inaccuracies in vote counts. Almost two million deceased people are registered voters, and 2.75 million people are registered in two or more states. One out of every eight registrations in the United States is either invalid or inaccurate due to human error. In 2008, an estimated 2.2 million people were unable to vote due to a problem with their registration or a deleted registration, while an additional 5.7 million had to resolve an issue before voting [3].

An automatic voter registration program, in which voters who give their information to certain government agencies would be automatically registered to vote, could fix many of these issues. Citizens could vote online, update their personal information at the polls, and remain permanently registered until they either pass away or move out of their state. The system would be less expensive and less prone to error and voter fraud [2]. As a result of its ease of use, the program would also encourage more people to vote [4].

Prior to 2015, there were no states that automatically registered qualified voters [5]. Now eight states and the District of Columbia have enacted automatic voter registration systems so that eligible citizens are registered to vote unless they opt out. Dozens of other states are working on passing similar bills [6].

Voting should be one of the simplest things Americans take part in, regardless of how difficult the choices on the ballot may be. Sign the petition to demand that the Department of Justice adopt a nationwide automatic voter registration system to enable Americans to do their civic duty hassle-free.


[1] Vicens, A. (2017, June 23). Why doesn't every state have automatic voter registration? Retrieved July 17, 2017, from http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/05/automatic-voter-registration-gaining-steam/

[2] (2015, September 22). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/case-automatic-voter-registration

[3] Make It Easy: The Case for Automatic Registration. (2016, July 01). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from http://democracyjournal.org/magazine/28/make-it-easy-the-case-for-automatic-registration/

[4] Make Voter Registration Automatic in Your State Too | RootsAction.org. (n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action\_KEY=11095

[5] (2017, February 03). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from http://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/voter-registration-modernization-states

[6] (2017, June 23). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/automatic-voter-registration

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The Petition:

Dear United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section,

The citizens of the United States of America have a right and a duty to vote. Therefore, you should make it your business to make voting as simple and fair a process as possible.

An automatic voter registration program would make registering to vote easier for qualified voters and would eliminate some of the inefficiencies and injustices of the current system. Some states have already realized this, but it's time to get the rest of the country on board.

We urge you to adopt a nationwide automatic voter registration system so that American citizens can do our civic duty without first wading through all the red tape.


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