Pa. senator proposes automatic voter registration law

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania senator says he plans to introduce a bill that would automatically register people to vote when they use the services of certain state agencies.

Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) said his proposal would essentially change Pennsylvania’s voter registration system from an “opt-in” system to an “opt-out” system.

Pennsylvanians currently may fill out voter registration forms when they apply for public benefits, services or licenses through the Department of Transportation and other state agencies.

Under his proposed legislation, Hughes said the state agencies would automatically collect voting-related information with the application and electronically send it to the Department of State and counties for registering the voter.

Voters would then receive a notice allowing them to select a party affiliation or to decline registration. If a person does not opt out within 21 days, they would be added to the voter rolls.

Hughes said his legislation in based on a similar law in Oregon.

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