Study credits automatic registration for growing voter rolls

Automatic voter registration (AVR) has led to increased voter rolls in every state where it has been implemented, according to a new study.

The Brennan Center for Justice on Thursday published a report saying voter registration rates were higher in all seven states, and the District of Columbia, where AVR is operational.


“As we’ve said from the beginning: automatic voter registration works. It’s that simple,” Myrna Pérez, deputy director of the center’s democracy program, said in a statement. “We should be making it as easy as possible for eligible citizens to vote, and that begins with getting registered.”

Increases ranged from 9.4 percent in the nation's capital to 93.7 percent in Georgia.

“Through AVR, places like Georgia have nearly doubled the rate of voter registrations since this policy went into effect,” said Kevin Morris, a quantitative researcher at the center.

“But it’s not just the increase in registrations," he added. "AVR is a 21st-century policy proposal — other analyses show that it keeps voter rolls more accurate, which reduces errors that cause delays on Election Day, and it also lowers costs by allowing states to save money on printing, mailing, and data entry.”

Five years ago no states had AVR, but now many are adopting the policy.

Lawmakers and voters recently moved to establish AVR systems in states like New MexicoNevada and Massachusetts, have moved to establish AVR systems.