Eric McGhee and Mindy Romero in The Monkey Cage:
California recently passed the New Motor Voter Act, a law designed to register eligible residents to vote by default when they use the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), unless they decline. Other states have or are considering similar laws. But because of California’s diversity and size — the 2016 population was 39.2 million and climbing — the Golden State’s law garnered special interest when it passed last fall.
In a new report, we look at the law’s likely effect on the demographics of California’s electorate, and at the number of new potential voters it might register in its first year. We find that supporters are right to see great promise in the law, but how the law is implemented will be far more important than many have suggested.
The new law could dramatically change California’s electorate. Emphasis on “could.”