LANSING – Michigan will begin automatic voter registration, with online voter registration commencing following the November 2019 elections.

Michigan will become the 18th state in the country to do so. The District of Columbia also has automatic voter registration.

“Making voter registration automatic for eligible citizens means more Michigan residents will have access to participating in our democracy,” Benson said in prepared remarks. “I look forward to this both strengthening our democracy and ultimately helping transactions move more quickly in branch offices by eliminating extra paperwork.”

Automatic registration was approved in November 2018 when Proposal 3, known as Promote the Vote, passed. In addition to allowing for automatic voter registration, Proposal 3 also allows voters to cast absentee ballots without needing a reason, vote a straight-party ticket and register to vote the same day as an election.

For automatic registration, Michiganders are enrolled upon obtaining a driver’s license or state identification card. Applicants must check an “opt-out” box on the forms if they are not interested in being registered to the system. Only United States citizens are eligible for the program.

The state implemented automatic voter registration for driver’s license and personal ID applications both in person and online on September 9. Automatic voter registration for mail-based transactions are anticipated to be added “in the coming months,” according to the Department of State.

This story was published by Gongwer News Service.