Automatic Voter Registration

Participation in our democracy must include all of us. That’s why we partnered with election experts and held a virtual discussion on what lessons California can learn from a Colorado case study which increased voter registration rates and enhanced the integrity of their election system by updating to a “Back-end” Automatic Voter Registration format and exploring the potential to expand access to our democracy.

Tens of millions of eligible Americans are not registered to vote, and they are disproportionately younger, lower income and people of color. Although many unregistered Americans express no interest in voting, over a quarter surveyed reported an intention to register but hadn’t had the time, didn’t know how or found it inconvenient. Many said they had never been asked to register to vote. So we’ve asked ourselves this question, “How can California boost voter registration rates?”.

Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) is essential to improving the security, integrity and efficiency of our elections and protecting the freedom to vote for all eligible voters. It promotes the freedom to vote for the tens of millions of eligible Americans who are not yet registered and ensures the accuracy and integrity of the voter rolls by automatically and efficiently updating the state voter file. This policy can save taxpayers millions of dollars each election cycle.

Our report focuses on Colorado, the first state to transition from a front-end to a back-end AVR system. After the transition, Colorado saw a 74% increase in voter registration rates at the DMV compared to rates with a front-end system. Not to mention, back-end AVR maintains a more accurate voter file, saves money, and ensures our elections remain safe and secure.