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May 21st, 2019

New Report Shows Automatic Voter Registration Has Changed Vermont

A newly released report by The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law has found that automatic voter registration (AVR) has markedly increased the number of voters being registered, ranging in increases from 9 to 94 percent, in several states across the country that have  implemented it.

“Automatic voter registration is common-sense, good policy,” said Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos. “Not only has it been shown to increase voter registration rates and improve voter access in both red states and blue states, it helps generate more accurate voter registration data, and saves states both time and money.”

Vermont was the 4th state to pass AVR, and the 2nd state to implement it. Condos launched AVR in January of 2017, in partnership with the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). An average of 427 voters registered or updated their registration status each week in 2017. Compared to the modeled average of 266 voters each week, this represents a 60.2 percent increase due to AVR.

“The Department of Motor Vehicles is happy to be able to assist the Secretary of State’s Office in providing Vermonters with a convenient method for registering to vote,” said DMV Commissioner Wanda Minoli.

Vermont helped lead the way when automatic voter registration was passed by the legislature in 2016 with strong tri-partisan support. Of over 300 votes cast on AVR, only a single ‘no’ vote was cast, for reasons unrelated to the AVR policy itself.

“AVR is a tremendous tool to increase voter access, and this report proves it. Its effectiveness has been demonstrated in Vermont and in states across the country,” said Secretary Condos. “The ballot box is the front door to our democracy, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done in Vermont to ensure that door is open to every eligible voter. We sincerely hope people will see these results and be excited to make AVR a reality in their home states.”

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