Pennsylvania is implementing an automatic voter registration system for anyone who obtains a driver’s license or other state identification card, the state’s governor, Josh Shapiro (D), announced Tuesday.
Pennsylvania residents can still choose not to register when receiving or renewing their ID, but they must proactively opt out of the process to do so.
Shapiro had the power to make the change without passing a new law.
“Pennsylvania is the birthplace of our democracy, and as governor, I am committed to ensuring free and fair elections that allow every eligible voter to have their voice heard,” Shapiro said in a statement. “Automatic voter registration is a common-sense step to ensure election security and save Pennsylvanians time and taxpayer dollars.”
Pennsylvania is that 24th state Implement automatic voter registration.
Democrats have long argued that making it easier to register and turn out leads to higher voter turnout. They also tend to believe that their party benefits from higher voter turnout among low-income residents and other people who vote less often, although that theory has been controversial in recent years.
The Keystone State is expected to be a crucial battleground in the 2024 presidential election that could determine whether President Joe Biden stays in the White House. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) is also up for re-election in 2024 in a race that is expected to be closely contested.