Connecticut is about to register every driver to vote

The Department of Motor Vehicles and Secretary of the State have worked out previous differences and signed an agreement to implement a “streamlined motor voter system” that will automatically register eligible citizens to vote when they go to DMV for a driver’s license or state-issued identification card.

The “memorandum of agreement,” signed Monday by DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra and Deputy Secretary of the State James Spallone, says that the new system, under which the DMV customer would be registered to vote unless he or she specifically declines by choosing to “opt out,” would begin operating by August of 2018.

Under the current program, the DMV customer is registered to vote only if he or she actively chooses that option.

On Tuesday, Bzdyra and the state’s top elections official, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, jointly announced the agreement that accomplishes what Merrill had proposed in a bill that did not win approval during the recently concluded regular 2016 General Assembly session.

They said Connecticut will be the first state in the nation to introduce automatic voter registration through this sort of agreement rather than via a legislative vote.