Automated Voter Registration: Will It Help Poll Turnout?

November 3, 2015 /


South Kern Sol, Randy Villegas

Last month California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the New Motor Voter Law, which will automatically register eligible voters when they apply for or renew a driver’s license at any California Department of Motor Vehicles. The program will go into effect on January 1 of next year, leaving time for newly registered voters to cast their ballots in the 2016 presidential election.

In a statement released last month, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the new law will result in the “largest sustained voter registration drive in our nation’s history.” Approximately 6.6 million Californians are eligible but not registered to vote.

South Kern Sol spoke to California State University, Bakersfield students about their take on the new bill, and whether it might get them to the polls in the future.


“It will definitely increase voter turnout. It makes one less thing you have to do in order to vote, and it makes things easier.”

Saul Pardo, 21


“It’s encouraging. I am not currently registered to vote. I definitely think it would motivate me to get out and vote and follow the campaigns! I have not taken the time to get out and register yet.

Clarisa Olaguez, 19


“I think [voter turnout] will increase because people won’t have to fill out that application. I’ve never been registered before, so it’s a benefit for me because I don’t have to go through that application. I definitely want to vote in the next election”

Ivory Parker Jr., 19  


“It will make it easier, because you don’t have to fill out a packet, it’s just there if you have a license. If you need to change anything, like your address, you just go to the DMV. I don’t know about voter turnout, because there’s some people who simply don’t care. I’ve voted before and I will continue.”

Chad Franey, 22



“I wasn’t registered to vote before, and I probably won’t vote either way.”

Grace Garo, 20