Readers React: This one-line fix can end the DMV’s motor-voter woes

People wait in line outside the Van Nuys DMV in 2018.
(Richard Vogel / AP)

To the editor: I commend the editorial board for recognizing the problems plaguing the DMV’s automatic voter registration system, including the registration of noncitizens.

The 1993 federal motor voter law requires states to offer voter registration opportunities at Department of Motor Vehicles offices and contemplated an opt-in procedure to ensure only eligible people would choose to register.

I introduced Senate Bill 57 to prevent recent problems from occurring again by returning voter registration to an opt-in process. Under my bill, the DMV would add one line to its online driver license or ID application that asks applicants if they want to register to vote. Having this option would protect individual choice and privacy.


Registering to vote is not difficult. Since the ratification of the 26th Amendment in 1971, millions of 18-year-olds have registered without government doing it for them.

The DMV is dealing with many problems. Having people question the integrity of our election system should not be one of them.

State Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel)

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