Monday, June 8, 2009

Voter Registration Modernization

Over the past few weeks, the blogs have been abuzz with praise for Voter Registration Modernization (or VRM, as people have come to call it). VRM supports the automatic registration of every eligible American. It cuts down on registration errors, ensures every American their constitutional right to vote, and – according to a new study from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund – saves the nation quite a bit of money!

The PIRG study surveyed 100 counties for this study and concluded that those counties alone spent over 33 million dollars on “simple registration implementation and error correction issues in 2008.” With thousands of counties across the country, it’s difficult (and daunting) to hazard a guess as to how much America spends on the voter registration process in total.

“Too much time, effort, and money is spent at the local level reacting to and paying for our paper-driven, mistake-riddled registration process. Our system creates challenges for local officials and wastes taxpayer dollars,” says U.S.PIRG Education Fund Democracy Advocate, Lisa Gilbert.

At Declare Yourself, we’ve been championing VRM since early this year when we brought the issue up at the Constitutional Convention 2.0. Support for the initiative was overwhelming; at the mock-Continental Congress, convened delegates passed the Automatic Voter Registration amendment by an overwhelming 84%!

VRM would also allow us to concentrate more of our efforts on actually getting out the vote on Election Day and increasing participation in government. Perhaps this new study will convince Americans – and our legislators – that modernizing the voter registration system would benefit both the civic and fiscal wellbeing of our country!