Washington, D.C. — Today, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed into law a measure adopting automatic voter registration (AVR) in the state. The Center for American Progress has found that AVR could lead to nearly 600,000 new voters in New Jersey. CAP’s research also showed that 255,273 of these people would be unlikely to get registered without AVR, strengthening the finding that AVR helps expand the electorate. In response, Liz Kennedy, senior director of Democracy and Government Reform at CAP, issued the following statement:
By passing automatic voter registration, New Jersey is building a pro-voter election system that increases voter access and supports participation. The new AVR law is among the most expansive in the country, allowing state agencies that collect personal data to automatically register people to vote after confirming their eligibility. As Oregon’s experience has shown, AVR can open the political process to traditionally underrepresented groups, including young people, rural Americans, communities of color, and Americans with lower incomes.
Research shows that participation rates for people who have become registered to vote are much higher than the general voter turnout rate. In 2016, 87 percent of people registered to vote did so, compared with 61 percent of all U.S. citizens. Now is the time to bring American democracy into the 21st century, and AVR is a crucial step toward free, fair, accessible, and secure elections where all Americans can have their voices heard to determine the future of our country and our communities.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at email@example.com or 202.478.6327.