Bill would link voter registration, licenses

By Bill Salisbury
Published February 8th 2007 in Pioneer Press
Minnesotans with a driver's license or a state identification card would be automatically registered to vote under legislation Secretary of State Mark Ritchie proposed Wednesday. Ritchie said the registration would be fast and convenient and would eliminate hassles for citizens. It also would cut data-entry costs for counties and reduce clerical errors.

Ritchie's legislative liaison, Beth Fraser, predicted about 500,000 Minnesotans who are eligible but not registered to vote would be signed up under the measure. She estimated it would cut the number of Election Day registrations in half.

The same bill would automatically change a voter's address any time a person files a change-of-address form with the U.S. Postal Service.

Under current law, voters must re-register every time they move.

Ritchie said the automatic updating of voter addresses would reduce the bureaucratic bothers involved in moving, shorten lines at polling places and save local governments money.