Pennsylvania Latest State To Embrace Automatic Voter Registration, Renewing Integrity Fears

  • Pennsylvania Democrat Gov. Josh Shapiro has implemented automatic voter registration, triggering new legal and election integrity concerns over voter roll maintenance as nearly half of U.S. states now follow such a policy.
  • Shapiro recently announced the commonwealth would implement automatic voter registration, which means that residents obtaining state ID cards and driver’s licenses at Department of Transportation centers will be automatically registered to vote.
  • Prior to the announcement, eligible residents had to opt into voter registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles, but now they will have to opt out if they don’t want to be registered to vote.
  • Shapiro’s announcement says that registration would be automatic for “eligible” residents, but it does not provide any detail on how the state would filter out foreign nationals. Citizenship is not a requirement to obtain a driver’s license in Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania is the 24th state to implement automatic voter registration, following Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
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