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Outdated registration and voting systems create hurdle after hurdle that keep people from the polls. We promote solutions, like automatic voter registration and early voting, to make it easier for eligible Americans to register and to vote.

Ensure Every American Can Vote Hands Ensure Every American Can Vote

Why It Matters

The voting process should be simple, convenient, and fair for everyone. But millions of Americans never make it on the rolls or to the polls, while hurdles like long lines, limited voting times, or malfunctioning voting equipment block many more. Communities of color, low-income communities, students, and seniors are especially vulnerable.

That’s why we support a range of proposals to expand access to registration and voting.

We led the way in developing and promoting automatic voter registration (AVR), in which eligible voters are automatically registered when they have contact with government agencies, unless they opt out. It’s a reform that is already dramatically reshaping registration by making it much easier to get on the rolls.

We also support other reforms: Early voting, including on the weekend and evenings, so that those who can’t make it to the polls on election day aren’t shut out; same-day registration, which lets people register and vote in one trip, so arbitrary registration deadlines don’t trip people up; and online registration, so that getting on the rolls and updating registration information is as convenient as possible; and protections to ensure that eligible voters are not purged from the rolls. We also recommend that states take major steps to ensure that all polling places have sufficient voting machines and poll workers to reduce wait times. This means allocating appropriate funding for all communities.

And we’re proud to be part of the fight to restore the Voting Rights Act to full strength, after it was badly weakened by the Supreme Court — so that communities of color are protected from the ongoing scourge of racial discrimination in voting.

    Solutions

    Enact Automatic Voter Registration

    Congress should pass the Automatic Voter Registration Act, and states should continue to adopt automatic voter registration.

    Restore the Voting Rights Act

    Congress should restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, and states should supplement those protections.

    Expand Early Voting

    Congress should set minimum early voting requirements in federal elections, and the states that don’t offer early voting should adopt it.

    Prevent Long Lines at the Polls

    Congress and the states should set and enforce standards to ensure all polling places have sufficient voting machines, poll workers, and other resources to avoid long lines.

    Read more in our Democracy solutions report.