Local Leagues in New Mexico
Legislative Priorities for Voter Rights 2019
In 2019 LWVNM will be supporting Automatic Voter Registration. We will support opt-out provisions through the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department and the Human Services Department, and provisions authorizing the Secretary to extend AVR to other state agencies once they are ready.
What AVR does:
- When eligible citizens interact with a certified state agency, their information is used to register them to vote or update their registration unless they opt out.
- With AVR, everyone is offered an opportunity to decline; no one is required to register.
- This process transfers voter registration information from a state agency to an election official electronically instead of through a paper registration form.
- AVR makes registration rolls more accurate and secure by eliminating the problems associated with paper registration forms, such as illegible handwriting, mishandling, and outdated or duplicate records.
- It includes safeguards to protect voters’ confidentiality and to ensure that only those who are eligible are registered to vote.
Why AVR works:
- AVR reduces barriers to registration by shifting the responsibility of voter registration from the individual to the government.
- It saves taxpayer dollars by eliminating printing, deciphering, mailing, and data entry costs associated with paper.
Where AVR has been approved:
Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia have approved AVR. The Illinois vote was unanimous in both chambers and signed by the Republican governor.
And AVR does work:
- Oregon, the first state to implement a similar registration system, experienced the highest increase in voter turnout in the country between 2012 and 2016. About 100,000 of those registered under Oregon’s program, 5% of the electorate, cast ballots in 2016.
- Vermont began using AVR in January 2017. In the first six months of implementation, voter registrations increased 62% compared to the first six months of 2016, a presidential election year.