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Monday, August 15, 2022

Bill proposes auto-voter registration

Your car might not be the only thing that’s automatic at your next trip to the DMV.

Democratic Florida Sen. Jeff Clemens, of Lake Worth, filed a bill Wednesday that would provide for automatic voter registration when eligible U.S. citizens complete a driver’s license or identification card application, renew their license or change their address.

Employees will be required to notify each person that they are transferring their information to a new application or updating an existing record.

People who do not wish to register can opt out.

Through automatic registration, Clemens hopes to make the process less complicated for both election supervisors, who he said spend too much time verifying registration information, and voters, according to a Florida Senate Minority Office press release.

The bill is expected to be discussed during the 2013 legislative session, which will begin March 5. Clemens could not be reached for further comment.

Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter said the bill sounded like an interesting idea.

However, she said she is concerned about automatic registration for state residents who have no contact with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

She said her office puts voter registration forms in places like libraries, Walmart and Publix to reach these individuals, particularly those without computers.

“If the legislature is going to set up a way to have citizens automatically register to vote, they would have to set it up in a way that would make it accessible to everyone,” she said. “This would be a first step.”

Hannah Warshowsky, a 20-year-old psychology sophomore, said she thinks the bill will make a bigger difference in the community beyond the UF campus.

“There’s never a point where it’s too easy,” she said. “This just sounds really efficient.”

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Alex Meckley, a 21-year-old family, youth and community sciences junior agreed, saying the bill will make registration more effective.

“I think registration should be easy because it’s something that makes such a big impact on our society,” she said. “I feel like people would be more prone to vote because they didn’t have to do the extra work.”

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