Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Delaware in the Lead Again

I was pleased to hear Delaware's Elections Commissioner, Elaine Manlove, on NPR's all Things Considered this evening. She was part of a story on efforts to improve voter registration, nation-wide.

In Delaware, a new system suggests one possible way forward. At the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles, the system registers voters almost automatically when residents apply for new driver's licenses or update their old ones.

NPR describes Delaware's approach as "pretty much on the cutting edge." Ms. Manlove, who is a very nice lady, by the way, is recorded trying out the system.
"And it's done — it's on its way to elections," Manlove says. "And then the elections office in Sussex is getting this as we speak, and they can process it."
That's pretty cool. Of course, it does depend on people being in the DMV to register. Meanwhile, the DMV folks are doing a better job of making it possible to not be at the DMV every year. Which is nice.

The NPR story goes on to talk about proposals that the government take more of an initiative in registering voters instead of depending on voters to register themselves.

That may generate some opposition from those who distrust government automatically. But at least people are thinking about improving the system. It's a start.

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