September 19, 2023

Institute for Responsive Government Action Applauds Automatic Voter Registration Announcement in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania to join the majority of U.S. states that have automated registration for eligible voters at participating state agencies

For Immediate Release:
September 19, 2023


PHILADELPHIA – Today, Institute for Responsive Government Action commended Governor Shaprio after announcing the implementation of automatic voter registration (AVR) in the Keystone State. ​​

After today, Pennsylvania residents who provide proof of eligibility during driver licenses and ID card transactions will be automatically taken through the voter registration application process. The new AVR system moves the Commonwealth from an opt-in voter registration system at PennDOT, as required by the National Voter Registration Act, to an opt-out one. This critical move places the onus of determining eligibility to the secretary of state’s office, rather than the voters themselves. Overall, this ensures the integrity, security, and sanctity of the state’s voter rolls remain a priority while preventing ineligible individuals from mistakenly registering to vote.

Executive Director Sam Oliker-Friedland issued the following statement in response to the news: 

The Institute for Responsive Government Action is thrilled to see Governor Shapiro taking a critical step toward a secure and accessible registration system for eligible voters in the Keystone State. Implementing AVR in Pennsylvania – especially on National Voter Registration Day – is a common sense decision. Pennsylvania joins more than half the states in the country that have taken steps to modernize and automate their voter registration systems.

Unregistered but eligible U.S. citizens will have a streamlined, secure path to participation, and current voters who need to update their registration will now have an efficient and secure method to ensure the voter rolls are accurate. We applaud the governor’s decision to make the integrity of the state’s voter rolls and his constituents’ rights to participate in our democracy a top priority ahead of 2024.


The Institute for Responsive Government is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to ensuring state and federal governments work effectively for the very people they serve. IRG provides data, research and expertise to elected officials in order to find practical policy solutions that make government systems more efficient, accessible, and responsive.