Ensuring Equitable Automatic Voter RegistrationMarch 23, 2021
Report on how to implement AVR responsibly and in a way that protects all the people who interact with it
Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) is generating considerable interest on the part of voting rights advocates, voter modernization proponents, and policymakers as a possible means of improving and increasing voter participation, particularly among those least likely to participate. AVR generally entails a statutory system whereby information about an individual’s voter eligibility that already exists within government databases is then used to register qualified individuals to vote without the individuals themselves needing to take action. AVR has the power to help make our democracy more open, fair, and representative, but only if it is implemented responsibly. Lawmakers, advocates, and citizens must demand an AVR system that protects all the people who interact with it, especially those communities who are underrepresented in our electorate, such as LEP individuals and New Americans. This paper discusses the current models of AVR generally and how they interact with the NVRA as well as important policy considerations for AVR, including equal access by language minority and immigrant communities.