Rep. Michael Stinziano and Rep. Emilia Sykes will soon introduce a bill that will make registering to vote easier by creating a system of automatic voter registration using BMV information.
Under the proposed legislation, eligible citizens who already provide the required information to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles will be automatically registered to vote by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. The information from the BMV would be periodically transmitted to the secretary of state’s office. Citizens would have the opportunity to opt-out of registering, under the bill.
“As the former Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, I know we need to encourage every eligible citizen to participate in our Democracy,” said Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat. “This bill will lower barriers and make it easier for every voter to have their voices heard, and all at a minimal cost to the state.”
The bill is modeled after similar legislation in Oregon, which took effect this March and directs that state’s Department of Transportation to provide necessary records to Oregon’s Secretary of State for automatic registration. Likewise, it also contains an opt-out program. Analyses have found that the program would incur minimal costs and would register thousands of eligible voters.