Rhode Island joined eight other states in enacting automatic voter registration. Governor Gina Raimondo held a ceremonial bill signing Tuesday.
The new law automatically registers Rhode Island residents when they use the state Department of Motor Vehicles for things like renewing a license or registering a car. This changes what was previously an “opt in” system into an “opt out” one. That means, eligible citizens now have to actively choose not be registered, rather than the other way around.
The Secretary of State’s office hopes this move will help clean up duplicates on the voter rolls, and continue to modernize elections. New England states Connecticut and Vermont already have similar policies.