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Outdated registration and voting systems create hurdle after hurdle that keep people from the polls.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 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.

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