“I firmly believe you get better government when you have better participation,” Hudgins said. “We should remove hurdles to the process.”
HB 2595 would provide for the automatic voting registration of individuals who have received an Enhanced Drivers license from the Department of Licensing. The agencies will collect voter data from these already eligible, but unregistered voters and provide that information to the Secretary of State.
The Automatic Voter Registration bill is part of an access to democracy package that includes the Washington Voting Rights Act, a bill allowing 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register, same-day registration, and the DISCLOSE Act which will shed transparency on money in politics. At least eight other states have passed similar automatic voting registration, including California, Oregon, Alaska, Georgia, West Virginia, and Illinois.
“Nothing will change the requirements for voting. You still have to be 18 years old, a resident of Washington, and a US citizen,” Hudgins noted. “This bill makes voter registration easier and up to date with modern technology.”
Analysis shows automatic voter registration boosts numbers of registered voters as well as turnout in elections.
The bill now moves to the State Senate for further consideration.