Target: Rick Perry, Governor of Texas
Goal: Establish system that automatically registers eligible voters in Texas
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to invalidate a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, voters need protection more than ever. Setbacks in Texas like the instant enforcement of voter IDs law could potentially be remedied by the implementation of automatic voter registration. This program would eliminate any lines to stand in, paperwork to fill out, and simply assigns an eligible voter an identifier like that of a Social Security number when she or he comes of age. Please take action and demand that Governor Perry enact this program to offset the potential loss of voters who do not have access to the required form of identification designated by the voter ID law.
Texas has already taken actions like immediately implementing the voter ID law, which has received the criticism that it will make it harder for ethnic minority citizens to exercise their right to vote, since providing legitimate forms of ID can be a costly and difficult feat. But if such a program like automatic voter registration were to be instituted, the responsibility of registration altogether would shift from the individual to the government. In a study conducted by the Pew Center on the States, it is estimated that at least 51 million Americans are eligible to vote and yet remain unregistered.
If the Texas government is so concerned over voter fraud, which is the reasoning behind the voter ID law, then it is only rational to automatically register voters. Since the Pew Center has also found that about 24 million inaccurate registrations would be resolved with its passage, it is only logical that the voter ID law be accompanied by universal voter registration. It has never been so urgent for Governor Perry to restore the balance by implementing automatic voter registration in Texas.
Dear Governor of Texas Rick Perry,
I am disappointed in the swiftness with which attorney general Abbott acted to enforce a law that requires voters to provide a photo ID. The law’s enforcement shows just how vulnerable the condition of voters’ rights is, which is why your state needs to implement automatic voter registration.
Any legislation that makes it harder for people to vote is an attempt dwindle the power of democracy. Automatic voter registration, on the other hand would make access to the electoral process easier for all eligible American citizens.
With the enforcement of the voter ID law, the victories wrought out of the struggles of the Civil Rights era could be undone, which is why it is so urgent that voter registration be made opt-out, rather than opt-in. Your state has already made steps to this regard with your compliance to the Motor Voter law that provides the option of voter registration at the time citizens receive their driver’s licences. Even though you have already signed the damaging voter ID legislation, please even the playing field by taking responsibility of the voting status of Texas’ eligible citizens. Please uphold democracy by enacting automatic voter registration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: myJon via Flickr