PA Lawmaker to Introduce Automatic Voter Registration Bill

A Pennsylvania lawmaker is soon expected to introduce legislation that would allow for automatic voter registration in the Keystone State.

Sen. Vincent Hughes, a Democrat serving Montgomery County, has said the bill would change Pennsylvania’s voter registration from an “opt-in” system to an “opt-out” system.

Pennsylvanian residents currently may fill out voter registration forms when they apply for public benefits, services or licenses through the state Department of Transportation and certain other state agencies.

Under the proposed legislation, Hughes has said the state agencies would automatically collect voting-related information with the application and electronically send it to the Department of State and counties for registering the voter.

Voters would then receive a notice allowing them to select a party affiliation or to decline registration. If a person does not opt out within 21 days, they would be added to the voter rolls.

The bill is based on a similar law in Oregon.

Under the legislation – signed into law just last month, every adult citizen in Oregon who has interacted with the Department of Motor Vehicles since 2013 but hasn’t registered to vote will receive a ballot in the mail at least 20 days before the next statewide election. The measure is expected to add about 300,000 new voters to the rolls.

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