Florida

Democratic State Senator Wants DMV to Automatically Register Drivers to Vote

Policy

State Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) proposed legislation requiring the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV) to automatically register citizens to vote when they apply for a driver’s license or renew a driver’s license.

Under current law, DMV officials ask eligible citizens if they would like to register to vote. Under Clemens’ bill, DMV officials will automatically register driver’s license applicants. Clemens’ bill goes far beyond the 1993 National Voter Registration Act signed by then-President Bill Clinton.

Dubbed the “Motor Voter” law, the 1993 Act allowed citizens to register to vote by mail or when applying for a state driver’s license, applying for welfare benefits, or registering for potential military service. President Clinton said about the Motor Voter law, “Now, there is no longer the excuse of the difficulty of registration. Motor-voter works at registering voters, and people who register vote.”

Clemens does not seem to agree with Clinton.

“The original purpose of the voter registration system was to disenfranchise women and African-Americans,” Clemens said in a press release. “It’s time we ditched the archaic scheme and realize that every adult American citizen should be automatically registered. There simply is no good reason to make people jump through hoops.”

Follow Tom Lauder on Twitter: @mediatrackersfl

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