Various advocacy groups argue that our current voter registration system is too complicated and many Americans do not vote because they are unable to register. That is a questionable premise, but their "solution" is even more problematic. They want a federal law that would force all states to use existing government databases to automatically register individuals to vote, even if they do not want to register. Many of the proposals for "universal" registration also include mandating that states allow anyone who is not automatically registered to register and vote on Election Day. One proposal even advocates requiring all individuals to register to vote when filing tax forms.
Is there a registration problem or does the need for election integrity justify the minimal burdens of citizens? If there is a problem, is mandatory registration the answer? Would such a system lead to noncitizens being registered or multiple registrations by individuals with property, businesses, residences, and tax filings in more than one state? Is a federal mandate an unconstitutional invasion of the rights of states to determine the qualifications of their voters and is it a violation of the rights of individual Americans?
Join us as our panel of four state chief election officials discuss these issues, moderated by a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission.
More About the Speakers
The Honorable Jason Gant
Secretary of State, State of South Dakota
The Honorable Scott Gessler
Secretary of State, State of Colorado
The Honorable Brian Kemp
Secretary of State, State of Georgia
The Honorable Kris Kobach
Secretary of State, State of Kansas
Hans A. von Spakovsky
Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow