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REPORT: Democrats’ First Bill in Next Congress Will Be to Institute Automatic Voter Registration and to Restore the Voting Rights Act

Hear, hear.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C) is joined by (L-R) Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) for a news conference in the House Vistiors Center in the U.S. Capitol March 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. In a big setback to the agenda of President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Republicans cancelled a vote for the American Health Care Act, the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also called 'Obamacare.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After flipping the House of Representatives from red to blue in the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats vowed to tackle voter suppression as their first act. The midterm elections were fraught with charges of voter suppression in several states including North Dakota, Florida, Georgia and Ohio.

Some went to court and prevailed on the side of voting rights while others upheld attempts to suppress largely minority voting rights.

In response, House Dems plan to strengthen the Voting Rights Act weakened due to a Supreme Court decision gutting the Voting Rights Act. Democrats also plan to institute automatic voter registration.

As of October 2018, eight states and the District of Columbia provide automatic voter registration to their residents. Maryland, New Jersey, Washington and Massachusetts also plan to implement automatic registration.

Seventeen states and Washington DC allow same day voter registration, meaning voters can register and vote on the same day and often in the same place. Automatic voter registration would reduce the number of voters needing to register in each election cycle dramatically.

Many of the states that use automatic voter registration do it through their Department of Motor Vehicles and issuance of driver’s licenses and state IDs. Unless a resident opts-out of registering to vote, they are automatically registered when their license or ID is issued.

After public outcry over voter suppression efforts in the 2018 midterms, the public support for the voting rights reforms Democrats propose ran high.

People decried voter suppression efforts days after the election.

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