More Delawareans may get registered to vote through the DMV under a bill introduced Thursday in the State Senate.
Drivers already have the option when they conduct a transaction with the DMV to register or re-register as voters, but many decline because they are in a rush. Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Senator Kyle Evans Gay (D-Brandywine Hundred) and Representative David Bentz (D-Newark, Bear, New Castle), would permit all driver’s license applications to serve as voter registration applications.
The DMV would be able to share information on these forms with the Delaware Department of Elections, as long as the applicant has shown proof of U.S. citizenship. The newly-registered voter then gets a letter to confirm voter status and is notified of the ability to register with a political party.
Voters could also select party affiliation at a polling site during the first primary election after they get registered.
“Democracy works best when we make it as easy as possible for people to participate in the electoral process,” Gay said. “The first step in exercising your right to vote is getting registered as a voter. Many Delawareans do that at their local DMV and there are steps we can take to make that process even simpler. It’s time we used all the tools at our disposal to make registering to vote as quick, easy and painless as possible.”
“One of the fundamental responsibilities of government is to make sure our residents have easier access to exercise their right to vote,” Bentz added. “Delaware already does a great job registering voters, but bringing automatic voter registration to our state gives us just one more tool to increase voter participation. I look forward to passing this bill through the House once the Senate passes it.”