POLIZETTE — If you get a driver’s license, you’re registered to vote under new law that opens door to ineligible voters
As the 2016 election unfolds, states like Texas and California are pulling in the opposite directions, with the former defending efforts to prevent voter fraud and the latter enacting a law that critics contend makes it easier than ever for non-citizens to vote.
California this year is implementing a law signed by liberal Gov. Jerry Brown that automatically registers anyone who gets a driver’s license. Under the law, people will have to specifically opt out of voter registration. California joined Oregon, the only other state that automatically registered voters at driver’s license offices.
Proponents tout the law as an effort to boost voter participation and argue that the law contains safeguards to weed out immigrants and others who are ineligible to vote. Opponents are less sanguine, noting that the state allows even illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote (TTV), noted in an email that California is the only state not compliant with the Help America Vote Act’s requirement to maintain a centralized, statewide voter registration system.
“TTV has little faith in a state that has failed to establish a standard database of voters, let alone augment one that is capable of receiving real-time updates from a third-party without creating duplications or screening out ineligible records,” she wrote.