Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Tag Archives: Automatic Voter Registration


Victory! California joins Oregon in adopting automatic voter registration

Following in Oregon’s footsteps, California Governor Jerry Brown and Golden State lawmakers have taken the concept of “motor voter” to the next level:

In a bid to improve voter turnout in California elections, Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation to automatically register to vote anyone who has a driver’s license or state identification card.

The measure was pushed by Democrats, whose candidates and causes typically benefit from higher turnout elections.

Assembly Bill 1461, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, will require the state to register adults to vote when they get or renew a driver’s license, unless they opt out. It will make California only the second state, after Oregon, to proactively register people to vote unless they decline.

Brown also signed several other bills to expand voter rights.

This is a hugely positive development for California and for the nation. Automatic voter registration has the potential to eliminate an annoying barrier to voting for millions of people. It makes no sense to require people to opt-in to the rolls in order to vote. If fuller participation in elections is our goal (and it ought to be), then it makes sense to change over to opt-out as our default.


I call on Republicans at all levels of government, with all manner of ambition to stop fear-mongering about a phantom epidemic of election fraud and start explaining why they are so scared of letting citizens have their say.

— Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, holding Republicans accountable for their attacks on voting rights (via The Hill)

Video Clip
Hillary Clinton speaks on voting rights

Hillary Clinton speaks on voting rights

Today, 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton delivered a major speech on voting rights, calling for universal, automatic voter registration. Clinton spoke at Texas Southern University, a historically black college in Houston, and called out Republicans Rick Perry, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie by name for backing laws in their states to make it harder to vote.

POSTSCRIPT: The New York Times applauds the speech.

Recommended Link

Oregon Democrats plan to put their bigger legislative majorities to good use

Last year, the Oregon Democratic Party did something remarkable. In an election year that was rough for Democrats around the country, Oregon Democrats actually managed to pick up seats in the Legislature to increase their majorities. And now, with the Oregon state legislative session beginning, caucus leaders say they’re going to govern courageously and with purpose.