West Virginia Ushers in Automatic Voter Registration

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West Virginia became the third state in the nation to approve automatic voter registration after HB 4013 was signed into law this month.

Beginning July 1, 2017, when a West Virginian goes to the DMV for the issuance, renewal or change of address of a motor vehicle driver’s license or official identification card, their information will be submitted into the voter registration process.

“The passage of automatic voter registration is a perfect example of how West Virginia continues to lead the way in election administration,” said West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. “We led the way with our military voting pilot project and we’ve continued to approach our elections administration with innovation and bold initiatives. With the launch of online voter registration this past fall and the development of automatic voter registration, we are working to make sure that it is as easy as possible for eligible West Virginians to register. Automatic voter registration goes a long way in protecting the integrity of our elections by accurately registering all eligible voters while saving taxpayer dollars in the process.”

Information collected through automatic voter registration at the DMV will be sent to the Secretary of State’s Office and then on to the applicable county clerk, similar to the process begun last year with electronic voter registration at the DMV.

“Over the course of the next few months, I will be working with officials from the Division of Motor Vehicles and county clerks to lay the groundwork for data collection. I’m proud that as we work on automatic voter registration, we are also working diligently on voter registration list maintenance through the passage of SB 591 which allows us to receive improved information through the multi-state Electronic Registration and Information Center (ERIC). It is incredibly important that as we expand our lists, we also keep them clean, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. This is a great step forward.”

Citizens will be able to cancel their voter registration at any time.

Tennant also had the following to say about HB 4013 and voter identification:

“Protecting the transparency and accuracy of our elections process is of the greatest importance. While I feel that the voter identification legislation is a satisfactory solution to a nonexistent problem, I am pleased to see that so many forms of identification were included in the bill making it easier on those who may not have a photo ID or government-issued ID.”

Want to read HB 4013 in its entirety? It can be found here.

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