The CWA News | Moving Forward: Automatic Voter Registration

Volume 75, Issue #4 | Winter 2015

Democracy Initiative organizations and activists are gathering signatures for a state ballot initiative to automatically register Alaska citizens to vote as they sign up for the Permanent Fund Dividend. The PFD is paid annually to Alaska citizens, based on the state's oil revenue dividends.

Alaska voters have until the start of the next legislative session in January 2016 to sign the petition and put this issue on the ballot in August 2016.

Participating in the effort are environmentalists, civic advocates, Native Alaskan groups, AFA-CWA Flight Attendants and other union activists.

California and Oregon already have laws that automatically register people to vote when they get or renew a driver's license or state identification card. Another 15 states and the District of Columbia are considering "automatic" sign up measures for voter registration.

 Voter participation in the U.S. trails nearly every other democracy. In 2014, just over a third of eligible voters turned out to vote; in 2012 it was 59 percent.