Brennan Center's new report on universal registration joins FairVote in highlighting Canadian model

by Rob Richie // Published June 16, 2009
The Brennan Center has issued its second major report on "voter registration modernization" or, as we still tend to call it, universal voter registration. Authored by Jennifer Rosenberg and Margaret Chen, Expanding Democracy: Voter Registration Around the World echoes our conclusion from 2008 research by Adam Fogel and intern Allison McNeely that Canada provides a potential model for a federal system adopting universal voter registration. Eve Robert provided more insight into this point in a blogpost on Canada in December 2008 and then in a major, 20-page report on international voter registration procedures released in April 2009.

The Brennan Center report examines registration procedures in sixteen countries, finding that "their experiences show the clear benefits to voters, overall taxpayer savings, and best practices that can be employed in the United States as Congress drafts reform legislation (and some pitfalls) of concerted reform."

The American Constitution Society's summer conference in Washington, D.C. on June 18-20 includes a session on universal registration at which one speaker will be FairVote board member Eddie Hailes of the Advancement Project. We also will address the subject at our June 30th conference on the future of voting rights, co-sponsored and hosted by the New America Foundation.