Automatic Voter Registration

New Hampshire Common-Sense Election Improvement Policies Series

August 9, 2022

New Hampshire can adopt Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) to increase the accuracy of the state’s voter rolls and save state and local election officials money. AVR would electronically register (or update the existing registration address) of eligible voters who conduct a license or ID transaction with the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), unless the individual declines registration.

When individuals interact with the DMV, they already provide all of the information needed for voter registration, including their name, address, date of birth, signature, and citizenship status. AVR leverages this secure, established data collection process to streamline voter registration. If a DMV customer is clearly eligible to register to vote, their information is securely and electronically transferred to the appropriate election officials for registration, unless the person declines. Similarly, any new address or name information an existing voter provides to the DMV is used to update the person’s voter registration record, unless the person declines.

22 states and the District of Columbia have adopted AVR since 2015, including Alaska, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, and West Virginia. AVR provides states with substantially more complete and accurate voter registration lists, reducing costs and creating a more efficient and secure election process.

  • AVR ensures voter rolls are up to date: Roughly 10% of Americans move each year. With AVR, whenever an eligible individual provides new information to the DMV, their voter registration is seamlessly updated, unless the person declines, reducing obsolete registration entries and deadwood on the voter file.
  • AVR ensures voter rolls are accurate: AVR improves accuracy by relying on an electronic transfer of information. AVR reduces the need for error-prone handwritten paper registration forms that must be manually entered by clerks.
  • AVR reduces election day issues: A person who is registered or updated through AVR does not need to register or update at the polls via same-day registration or cast a provisional ballot, reducing the potential for delays, additional paperwork, and voter confusion on election day.
  • AVR saves money: Processing each paper registration form costs roughly $4.72 in labor, and election mailings to outdated or incorrect addresses are an unnecessary expense. AVR undercuts both of these cost drivers, and can save state and local election officials hundreds of thousands of dollars each election.