ACLU-WV would like to thank the West Virginia House of Delegates Judiciary Committee Chairman Capito and the House Judiciary Committee for making the decision to take additional time post-session to study the election process and merits of the content of Senate Bill 565, the election law amnibus bill.
The bill not move forward this session after hundreds of our supporters flooded the committee with calls and emails. The bill would have eliminated the most popular day of early voting, marked voters as "inactive" for missing just one off-year election, and ended the process of Automatic Voter Registration at the DMV before it even began to be implemented.
We urge our policymakers to consider each proposal within the bill on its own merit for potential reconsideration in future years. Any proposals that make it harder for people to vote should be rejected. We are confident that if lawmakers study the research and consult states that have already implemented automatic voter registration they will not make any changes to the current law. Moreover, once automatic voter registration is implemented at the Department of Motor Vehicles this summer, the Legislature can study its impact on voter registration in West Virginia.
The security of our elections is something our state prides itself on. Moving forward, we need to focus efforts on improving the shockingly low voter participation numbers in West Virginia. Our system will be better for it. We will have a healthier democracy. And our people deserve it.