Maryland State Senator Proposes Automatic Voter Registration

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Maryland Sen. Roger Manno wants to eliminate voter registration, and instead automatically enroll every Marylander of voting age with a state-issued ID card or who receives benefits from social services.

Manno, D-Montgomery told the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee that it is time for Maryland to modernize its voter registration system and join states like Oregon and California that have already enacted similar legislation.

“For the last couple of hundred years governments have had all kinds of hurdles thrown up to make it more onerous or difficult for folks to be able to cast their vote or poll test requirements that you be a man, or that you own property: there were literacy tests, and there are still some vestiges of those difficult provisions in state law,” Manno said.

“What [Oregon and California] have done is basically identify a universe of folks who are eligible to vote, and at the age of eligibility, will register them to vote, so that they don’t have to jump through that hoop to actually go and cast their votes,” Manno said.

SB 350, which he calls The Universal Voter Registration Act, requires the Motor Vehicle Administration and social services agencies to provide the State Board of Elections with electronic records containing information about eligible voters, beginning at age 16, and retroactively register them. For those who wish to opt out, local election boards will mail exemption notices.

Read more at Maryland Reporter


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