Perhaps signaling a new phase in efforts to modernize the country's
antiquated voter registration systems, a new group of unlikely
bedfellows has come together
to help win support for an overhaul that would put government in charge
of proactively registering voters, and allowing voter registrations to
be portable within states. Spearheaded by two former general counsels
of presidential campaigns, Trevor Potter (McCain 2000 & 2008) and
Marc Elias (John Kerry 2004), the Committee to Modernize Voter Registration (CMVR) plans to promote registration modernization and be a resource for those on Capitol Hill.
Minnesota legislators passed a landmark voter registration modernization bill
recently that would, absent a veto, have registered or updated the
registration of voters automatically when they applied for a driver's
license, learner's permit or ID card. It would also use information in
motor vehicle and corrections databases to verify and maintain voter
rolls. This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Steve Simon and Sen. John Marty,
would have made Minnesota the first state in the nation to proactively
register voters, and made it among the most advanced in maintaining
clean, accurate voter rolls. The bill was designed to build on the
state's already first-in-the-nation portability bill, which requires automatic updates to voter registrations based on changes of address.
However, Governor Pawlenty vetoed this historic legislation last week...