Pennsylvania to begin automatic voter registration

Pennsylvania, a battleground state that could play an outsized role in the 2024 presidential election, will begin automatically registering new voters as part of its driver’s license and ID approval process , officials announced Tuesday.

The program, which was announced by Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, is similar to those proposed in 23 other states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Voters must meet certain eligibility requirements, including being a U.S. citizen and resident of Pennsylvania for at least 30 days before an election. They must also be at least 18 years old on the date of the next election.

“Automatic voter registration is a common-sense measure to ensure election security and save Pennsylvanians time and taxpayer dollars,” Shapiro said in a statement. “Residents of our Commonwealth already provide proof of identity, residency, age and citizenship to the DMV – all information required to register to vote – so it makes sense to streamline this process with the voter registration.”

During the 2020 election and last year’s midterm elections, Pennsylvania was a hotbed of lies about voter fraud, promoted by former President Donald J. Trump and his allies. State Republicans have launched a series of unsuccessful legal challenges over voter eligibility and mail-in ballots whose dates were not written on their return envelopes, as required by state law. State.

The move to automatic voter registration, which begins Tuesday, comes as Republicans and Democrats keep an eye on the state as the 2024 race heats up.

President Biden’s birth state, Pennsylvania, could determine not only whether he is elected to a second term, but also whether Democrats retain control of a closely divided Senate. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat serving his third term, faces a crucial re-election test.

In the short term, a special election held Tuesday in the Pittsburgh area is expected to determine the balance of power in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Pennsylvania had about 8.7 million registered voters as of December 2022, according to state officials who, citing census figures, estimated that about 10.3 million residents were eligible to register on the electoral lists.

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