State Unveils First-of-its-Kind Automatic Voter Registration Plan - NBC Connecticut

State Unveils First-of-its-Kind Automatic Voter Registration Plan

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    The Secretary of the State’s office and the Department of Motor Vehicles are working together to register eligible Connecticut residents to vote when they go to the DMV for a license or state identification card.

    Secretary of State Denise Merrill and the Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Michael Bzdyra issued a statement on Tuesday about the plan to streamline the system and said the two agencies also plan several other activities in DMV offices to improve the voter-registration process.

    According to the statement, Connecticut will be the first state in the nation to introduce automatic voter registration through this type of agreement.

    “This is a monumental event enhancing voting rights and opportunity in Connecticut, and a continuation of our rigorous efforts to bring new voters onto the rolls,” Merrill said. “This agreement also puts Connecticut alongside a vanguard of states that are leading the nation in the movement to register every eligible citizen. This is a proud day for our state, and I wish to thank Commissioner Bzdyra and his staff for their commitment.”

    “We are very pleased with this agreement knowing that it will help bring more voters on the rolls in Connecticut. We are eager to work with Secretary of the State Merrill and her team on making us a state at the forefront helping every eligible citizen register to vote,” Bzdyra said in a statement.

    Officials said it will take two years to develop the system, which is meant to make voter registration more convenient, efficient and cost-effective and increase participation in our democracy.

    The agencies will collaborate and share resources to build the system.

    In the short-term, the agencies plan to include a provision for a unified application for licensing and voter registration at DMV offices.

    The two agencies also pledged to increase promotion of the motor voter law in DMV offices and through DMV customer outreach, including voter registration links in the DMV mobile app for iPhones and Android devices as well as through mailings, information in DMV branch offices and other traditional customer contacts.

    The agreement also includes streamlined reporting by the DMV to municipalities of the names of newly registered voters, as well as those making name, address or other changes