State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: Automatic Registration

Georgia’s Voter Registration Surge: The Investigations and Lawsuits Behind the Numbers

By: Amber Stapleton

Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, with Georgia expected to be a key political battleground, the state has seen a record number of citizens registered to vote. In the last 11 months alone, more that 352,000 Georgia citizens have been registered to vote and the influx has boosted the state’s voter rolls to the record high of nearly 7.4 million. According to one Atlanta Journal-Constitution article which cited the publications own analysis of registered voters from November 6, 2018 to August 12, 2019, “[a]bout 47% of the new voters who identified their race are minorities and 45% are age 30 or younger.”

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Driving Up The Numbers: Will California’s Motor Voter Law Dramatically Alter The Golden State’s Electorate?

By: Tyler Sherman

With low voter turnout in the recent 2014 elections, pressure mounted on California legislators to act to increase voter participation. In response, California’s state legislature passed, and Governor Jerry Brown approved, the New Motor Voter Act. In essence, the law will automatically register eligible citizens to vote when they use Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) services, such as obtaining a driver’s license. Slated to go into effect in July of 2017, the law has the potential to dramatically alter the Golden State’s future.

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TX – Fossils Running Amok: Subversion of Democracy by Old Election Machines and Travis County’s Unique Solution

By: Katie Teeters

In September of 2015, the Brennan Center for Justice published a report based on ten months of research, which looked at problems arising from aging voting machines. First, the report found that a majority of election districts in forty-three states are using ten-year old machines. There are fourteen states with machines fifteen-years or older. Considering the rapid pace of technology in the past fifteen years, these election machines are truly relics of the past. To illustrate how ancient these machines are; in 2000 Wikipedia nor iTunes existed. Many of the voting machines have minimal memory, such as in Allen County where the machine’s memory cards can contain only 250 megabytes of data. Samsung’s new basic Galaxy S6 smartphone can hold up to 32 gigabytes of data, which is approximately 128 times more memory than those machines.

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Modern Obstacles to Voting: Oregon’s Failed Attempt at Automatic Voter Registration

by Megan Thomas, Contributor

As much as we focus on getting out the vote for each election, the first step in voting usually takes place long before election day. Throughout the United States, citizens must register before they are allowed to vote.  Though some states allow same-day registration, most states require that voters register in advance of an election. Advance registration makes voting a multi-step process and is widely considered to be a barrier to voter access. Continue reading

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