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Bill aims to automatically register Floridians to vote at DMV

4:08 PM, Jan 18, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It's time to bring voter registration into the 21st Century and move beyond the current, archaic system of registering voters, according to State Sen. Jeff Clemens.

He's sponsoring legislation that would automatically register people to vote.

The bill directs the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to automatically register eligible adults when they apply for or renew their driver's license. Currently you're asked if you want to register.

Sen. Clemens says the current system makes people jump through too many hoops to sign up to vote.

"The voter registration system was created when we were trying to find ways to limit women from being able to vote, to limit African Americans from being able to vote," Clemens said. "There really is no good reason for people to have to jump through a whole new set of hoops, or a whole different set of hoops, in order to be able to just simply register to vote."

The bill would not mean you have to vote. Clemens says people could opt out if they wished.

"I'm not even sure if it will lead to more people voting. But it should get rid of some of the red tape that comes along with having to deal with these third-party registration groups and all the different ways that we register people to vote," he said.

Clemens also thinks automatic registration would make election supervisors' jobs a little easier because they wouldn't have to spend time verifying registrations, running voter registration drives and supervising voter registration groups.

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