Map of the Day: Automatic Voter Registration

Oregon gets a lot of attention every election year because it’s gotten rid of polling places and gone to 100 percent mail-in ballots. That’s great, but Oregon’s real contribution was its leadership in something much more important: automatic voter registration. If you have a driver’s license, you’re registered to vote. End of story. It’s a trend that’s now spreading across the country:

Now, you will notice that Georgia and West Virginia are the only Republican states to have adopted automatic voter registration so far. So this is not quite the bipartisan initiative we might have hoped for. Still, it’s progress.

Of course, what would really be progress would be national ID cards. Everyone with an ID that marks them eligible to vote gets a ballot by mail, full stop. If you don’t have an address, you drop into a polling place, show your ID, and vote. If you try to vote twice, a computer catches you and a warrant is issued for your arrest. Done.

Now all I have to is convince all you laggards that a national ID card would be a good—no, a great—thing. So far, I’ve had no luck on that score.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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