Jacksonville, FL - Every election cycle there’s a big push to register voters, but that may not happen much longer.
A bill has been filed in the state senate to automatically register a person to vote when he or she gets a driver’s license.
Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland says the bill comes with some benefits, like making sure a person is registered to vote in the right county.
“We get about 50,000 voters a year that will move and never notify us,” he says.
He says it also could make it a little easier for voters to participate, because it takes away the time needed to separately register before an election. There are also no automatic drawbacks to a person, for example getting signed up for jury duty.
There are, however, downfalls overall.
“It will cause a large increase in the cost of maintaining those people who really have no interest in voting,” he says.
Holland’s office sends out sample ballots to all registered voters as well as registration cards when any changes occur. If all eligible Duval County voters are registered, that means a significant hike in the amount of what they mail and the associated postage.
“Will this engage more people and will it be worth the cost for engaging those people,” he says.
It will also mean a lower voter turnout percentage, because not many of the automatically registered voters will actually hit the polls.