League testifies in support of Automatic Voter Registration

TESTIMONY IN FAVOR OF

The Automatic Voter Registration Amendment Act of 2015 (B21-0194) 

League of Women Voters, District of Columbia

The League of Women Voters, District of Columbia has spoken out in strong support of requiring the Board of Elections to maintain an up-to-date list of registered voters since 1985.  Inviting citizens to register as a qualified voter when they apply for identification with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has been an excellent method of increasing the number of registered voters in the District.  However, there are often delays in transmitting the registrations and further delays in inputting the data into the voter system once the paper documents are transferred to the Board.

The bill as written provides an opportunity for each person to opt out of automatic registration, but it offers everyone an opportunity to register to vote by signing the voter registration portion of the DMV application.  This opportunity would be available to those who are simply registering a change of address or name as well as applying for a driver’s license or identification.  The law would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to provide regular transmission of electronic records on a schedule established by the Board of Elections.  The bill adds additional safeguards by capping the deadline for transmission at 10 days after the date of acceptance by the DMV and no more than 5 days if an application is received within 5 days of the last day for registration to vote in an election.

The League of Women Voters urges passage of B21-0194, the Automatic Voter Registration Amendment Act of 2015.  Our members believe its implementation will greatly improve the ability of the Board of Elections to maintain up-to-date records of citizens registered to vote in the District of Columbia.

 

Linda Beebe, President

League of Women Voters, District of Columbia