In the fall of 2016, Georgia began implementing an administratively-approved automatic registration policy through its Department of Driver Services. Eligible citizens who interact with the DDS are registered to vote or have their existing registration information updated, unless they decline. Learn more about automatic registration here.
Prior Advances in Voter Registration Modernization
This reform builds upon Georgia’s existing voter registration modernization efforts:
- Electronic Voter Registration: Georgia launched electronic voter registration at the Department of Driver Services (DDS) in 2009. Individuals submit information on paper and clerks input responses electronically. Registrants then sign an electronic pad to create a digital signature, and the information is transferred electronically to the Secretary of State’s office each night.
- Online Voter Registration: Georgia launched online voter registration through the Secretary of State’s office in 2014. Eligible citizens with a state driver’s license or non-driver ID can use the system to register to vote and update their registration information.
- Electronic Pollbooks: Georgia employs electronic pollbooks statewide.
Gains from Voter Registration Modernization in Georgia
The steps Georgia has taken thus far have yielded increases in voter registration and financial benefits for the state, according to election officials. For example:
- During an interview with Brennan Center staff, Georgia election officials reported cost savings from reduced application processing time due to online voter registration. They also described that electronic voter registration reduced printing, sorting, and mailing expenses.
- Between November 2014 and November 2016, the state received 154,104 new voter registration applications through its online portal.