Pennsylvania Governor announces automatic voter registration

September 19, 2023

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) announced that starting Tuesday, his administration is making it easier for citizens to register to vote when getting or renewing their driver’s license. 

“Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and automatic voter registration is a commonsense step to make our elections more secure and save Pennsylvanians time and money,” Shapiro posted on social media.

He added, “We’re joining the bipartisan group of automatic voter registration states—and in the first year alone, we expect tens of thousands of eligible voters will get registered to vote.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 other states and Washington DC already have varying versions of “automatic voter registration.”

Under the new system, computer prompts at Pennsylvania driver’s license centers will take the user to a voter registration template. It leaves the choice up to them whether to register or not. Previously, computer prompts first asked Pennsylvanians whether they wanted to register before taking them to the template. 

The U.S. State Department notes that there are currently 8.6 million registered voters in Pennsylvania, while the U.S. Census finds that more than 10 million Pennsylvanians  are at least 18 years old, out of 13 million total people in the state.

Shapiro has asserted that there there are some 1.6 million Pennsylvanians who are eligible to vote but have not registered. 

“I see voter participation as key to strengthening democracy,” Shapiro said in an interview with the Washington Post. He added that he is “committed to ensuring free and fair elections, and to making sure every eligible voter can make their voice heard.”

Pennsylvania was considered a key swing state ahead of the 2020 Presidential election, and in fact it was President Biden’s 80,000+ vote lead in Pennsylvania that finalized his victory over former President Trump on November 7 that year—four days after Election Day. 

Today is National Register to Vote Day! Visit vote.org to confirm that your voter registration is up to date!

PHOTO: @GovernorShapiro

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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