Democratic Attorney General candidate Raph Graybill is proposing an excellent idea to automate voter registration in Montana, by automatically registering every eligible Montana voter when they receive a Montana driver’s license or ID card.
In a release his campaign sent out yesterday, Graybill presented a plan that, for a cost of only $7,000, would make thousands more Montanans eligible to vote, reduce the long lines at polling stations on election night, and provide proof of identification for voters.
The proposal, which would not eliminate existing voting registration mechanisms, is an elegant idea that demonstrates the kind of thinking we need from our next Attorney General. While the current Attorney General has used his office to restrict the rights of Montanans, the office can do so much more. Our next Attorney General should use his or her office to expand voting rights, protect Montanans from corporations bent on taking our privacy and eliminating our right to defend ourselves in court, and put Montanans first.
Ensuring access to the ballot box should be one of the most important roles of government because, as those who wrote the US and Montana Constitutions knew, those who govern only have the right to when the people give it to them. By making voter registration simpler, government will better ensure that all the people have the chance to express those opinions.
Republicans in Montana want you to believe that they are concerned about voter fraud when they oppose same-day registration. They raise the issue of fraud after every election, even though there is no evidence that anyone in Montana is voting illegally. What they really fear is that more of us will vote. No party—and no government official—should operate under the belief that our representative democracy is better when people are silenced by bureaucratic red tape.
Let’s make the voting easier for everyone with this simple fix.
Update: The details of the plan are available here.