Maryland’s Democratic-controlled legislature on Wednesday passed a veto-proof bill that would automatically register eligible citizens to vote if they get or renew their driver’s license or state ID, or sign up for health insurance or social services unless they decline.
If the bill becomes law, Maryland would become the 11th state to adopt automatic voter registration.
“The state of Maryland has taken a profound step forward in expanding access to the ballot,” state Sen. William Smith (D) said in a statement. “Creating an automatic registration program that links voting to everyday activities, like getting a driver’s license or collecting health benefits ensures greater voter participation which is the essential ingredient for any thriving democracy.”
The Hill added:
Twenty-five other states are considering automatic voter registration bills introduced either last year or this year, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Just last week, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill making voter registration in that state automatic.
Oregon was the first state to automatically register voters when they interacted with state agencies, back in 2015. In just the first year under the program, almost a quarter of a million Oregonians registered to vote. California estimated it would add as many as 6.6 million new voters to the rolls when it implemented its own program a few months later.