Pennsylvania became the 24th state in the nation to enact automatic voter registration on Tuesday, a practice that Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) said “equals a stronger democracy.”
“I can tell you, I begin and end the conversation, Nicolle, by believing that greater voter participation equals a stronger democracy,” Shapiro said, in an interview on MSNBC.”
Shapiro, whose office noted in their announcement, that the practice of automatic voter registration has been implemented by both Democrat and Republican governors, said a more engaged citizenry is best, no matter who someone is voting for.
“I fundamentally believe, no matter who you’re going to vote for or what your particular viewpoint is, the more engaged our citizenry, the stronger our country, the healthier our democracy. And we took a giant leap forward here in the commonwealth today to do just that,” Shapiro said.
Pennsylvania’s switch to automatic voter registration, announced on National Voter Registration Day, means voters in the state will automatically be enrolled into the voting system when they renew or obtain new ID cards or drivers licenses. This differs from the old system, where people had to personally opt into the process to become registered voters.
Republicans have been critical of automatic voter registration in the past, wondering whether or not the practice will ensure that only citizens can vote.
Stephen Miller, an advisor to former President Donald Trump echoed those concerns in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, following Pennsylvania’s announcement.
“And, I can promise you, there will be no citizenship verification,” Miller said in a re-post.
Oregon became the first state to enact automatic voter registration in 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while Minnesota was the latest state to do so prior to Tuesday’s announcement, also implementing it this year.
The other states with automatic voter registration are Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
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