Automatic Voter Registration (AVR)

Automatic voter registration (AVR) has increased the average registration rates in every state where it’s been implemented, according to a new analysis by the Brennan Center. In the first study of its kind, the Brennan Center analyzed the effects of AVR, a system in which eligible citizens are automatically registered to vote at agencies like the DMV unless they opt out.

Controlling for all other factors, the study shows that AVR has successfully increased voter registration rates in seven states and the District of Columbia. In short, automatic voter registration has chipped away at the antiquated obstacles to registering eligible citizens to vote.

“As we’ve said from the beginning: automatic voter registration works. It’s that simple,” said Myrna Pérez, deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. “We should be making it as easy as possible for eligible citizens to vote, and that begins with getting registered.”

Since no two AVR systems are exactly the same, the report provides a state-by-state breakdown of each state’s AVR system and the impact on registration rates after the policy went into effect.

Here are each jurisdiction’s percentage of increase in registrations:

Alaska: 33.7%
California: 26.8%
Colorado: 16.0%
Georgia: 93.7%
Oregon: 15.9%
Rhode Island: 47.4%
Vermont: 60.2%
Washington, DC: 9.4%

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