Universal Voter Registration?
Sunday, July 6th, 2008
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law is circulating a draft policy paper about universal voter registration, and it’s pretty interesting. This system would place the onus of registering to vote on the government, not the individual, by requiring municipalities, states and perhaps even Washington to reach out to all eligible voters with a way to register — rather than the other way around.
The report cites the 2001 Carter-Ford Commission on Election Reform in pointing out — while not a silver bullet to increase voter participation — that changes to the way voter registration happens in the United States could contribute to a more participatory democracy. “The registration laws in force throughout the United States are among the world’s most demanding,” the report said, “[and are] one reason why voter turnout in the United States is near the bottom of the developed world.”