Press Releases

Murphy, Incoming Future Forum Leadership Call for Automatic Voter Registration Provision in H.R. 1

The group of young Democratic Members of Congress urge incoming party leadership to expand automatic voter registration across the country as part of upcoming democracy reform bill

f t # e
Washington, December 20, 2018 | Javier Hernandez (202-225-4035) | comments

WASHINGTON – The incoming leaders of Future Forum, led by U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., today sent a letter to House Speaker-Designate Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Leader-Designate Steny Hoyer calling for the inclusion of a provision expanding automatic voter registration (AVR) in H.R. 1—democracy reform legislation that is set to be a top priority in the 116th Congress.  Future Forum is an influential group of young Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who advocate for issues important to younger Americans.  In the letter, Murphy and the group’s vice-chairs and chair emeritus— U.S. Representatives Antonio Delgado, D-N.Y., Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., respectively— said automatic voter registration can empower young voters and increase voter participation rates among all age groups.

“In the aftermath of events like the Parkland shooting and the #MeToo movement, the millennial and post-millennial generations mobilized to vote in record numbers,” wrote the incoming Future Forum leaders.  “Nevertheless, young voters still had the lowest turnout rate of any age group in 2018, just as they have in every previous national election.  Automatic voter registration is an innovative solution that can increase voter participation rates among all age groups, especially among young people.”

“AVR is a simple, commonsense reform to our voter registration process that could meaningfully increase participation in our elections,” stated the letter.  “On behalf of Future Forum, we thank you for your leadership on this critical issue and appreciate your continued support of our mission to bridge the divide between young Americans and their government.”

In November, Democratic leaders announced H.R. 1, a legislative package of democracy reforms that will be prioritized for passage in the coming Congress.  The sweeping legislation is slated to include provisions that improve voter access to the polls, ensure the security of our elections, and promote integrity in our democratic process.

The full text of the letter is below.

****

December 20, 2018

Dear Speaker-Designate Pelosi and Democratic Leader-Designate Hoyer:

As the incoming leadership slate for Future Forum, an organization comprised of the youngest Democratic members of the House, we thank you for your intention to advance comprehensive legislation in the 116th Congress that would make our democracy more secure, transparent, and accessible to the American people.  We write to express our support for efforts to empower younger voters by creating a system enabling citizens in every U.S. state and territory to automatically register to vote, and we respectfully request that a provision to this effect be included in the comprehensive legislation.

In the aftermath of events like the Parkland shooting and the #MeToo movement, the millennial and post-millennial generations mobilized to vote in record numbers.  According to estimates from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, 31 percent of citizens ages 18-29 voted in the 2018 midterm elections, a 10 percent increase from 2014.  Nevertheless, young voters still had the lowest turnout rate of any age group in 2018, just as they have in every previous national election.

Automatic voter registration (AVR) is an innovative solution that can increase voter participation rates among all age groups, and especially among young people.  AVR would streamline the voter registration process by making it “opt-out” rather than “opt-in.”  This would allow eligible voters to conveniently register to vote when interacting with a government agency unless they take affirmative steps to decline.  AVR would also ensure voter rolls remain up-to-date by enabling voters to easily amend their registration information.  To date, AVR has shown positive outcomes in states where it has been implemented.  For example, Oregon’s AVR law led to a notable uptick in registration rates among young people ages 18-29 in 2016.

AVR is a simple, commonsense reform to our voter registration process that could meaningfully increase participation in our elections.  On behalf of Future Forum, we thank you for your leadership on this critical issue and appreciate your continued support of our mission to bridge the divide between young Americans and their government.

Sincerely,

*****


To view a copy of the letter click here.

f t # e

Stay Connected

Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.

Office Locations