Lawmakers Consider Automatic Voter Registration Bill

Jan 30, 2017

The state Motor Vehicle Division would pull info on drivers and register them to vote—if they are eligible—according to a bill that is being considered by lawmakers in Santa Fe during this year’s legislative session.

Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Bernalillo) proposed the legislation. She says it would get more folks voting. 

"It’s an attempt to modernize our system, make it more accessible, coordinate so it is not so cumbersome, so it is more secure. It gives us a chance to invigorate the voters," she said.

Roybal Caballero says only people who are eligible to vote would be automatically registered, but Republicans who oppose the measure say they are still concerned about that issue.

Six states, including California, currently have similar laws and have seen an increase in registered voters.

The bill is scheduled to be heard by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee Tuesday.

The People, Power and Democracy project examines ethics, transparency and accountability in state government. It's a collaborative, multi-media partnership between KUNM-FM, New Mexico PBS, New Mexico In Depth and the New Mexico News Port. The project is funded by the Thornburg Foundation and by contributions from KUNM listeners.