The Instigator
Go4thegold
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Tough
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Automatic Voter Registration

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/14/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 627 times Debate No: 79710
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

Go4thegold

Pro

This Debate will be focused on whether or not the United States should adopt a policy of automatic voter registration in regards to registering it's voting eligible population. To further explain, automatic voter registration involves registering all persons within a state who are of voting age to be able to vote in elections. I will take the side of supporting automatic voter registration, and will argue reasons for why it should be implemented. My opponent will argue against automatic voter registration, and present reasons as to why it should not be implemented. BOP is shared. The structure of the debate shall be as follows:

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Arguments
Round 3: Main Arguments
Round 4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Conclusions
Tough

Con

I grant this debate challenge my glorious acceptance.
Debate Round No. 1
Go4thegold

Pro

First of all, I want to thank my opponent for accepting this debate challenge.

Now, as of November 2014, there are approximately 219 million citizens of the United States that are eligible to vote, however, out of those people eligible to vote, approximately 142 million of those people are officially registered to vote, constituting roughly fifty-nine percent of the total US voting-age population, leaving roughly seventy-eight million Americans unregistered to vote. [1] What I would like to argue is for a system that makes it easier for any of these unregistered voters to register, and I believe that automatic voter registration would solve this problem.

Automatic voter registration, also known as universal voter registration, is a system in which the central government automatically registers any and all citizens once they reach the age at which they can vote. This would be accomplished by utilizing existing government databases to keep track of which citizens have become eligible to vote, and then automatically register those citizens to vote. Meanwhile, any citizens who do not want to register to vote would have the option to opt out of the voting registration process. [2]

Right now, the state of Oregon has adopted an automatic voter registration measure that would automatically register anyone in the state who is eligible to vote, and who currently has a driver's license in the state,[3] and, California is considering adopting a similar measure.[4] I believe that having the United State as a whole adopt automatic voter registration, then not only will more citizens be eligible to vote, but more citizens will turn out to vote simply based on the fact that they are registered to vote.

Sources:
[1]: http://www.census.gov...
[2]: http://www.fairvote.org...
[3]: http://www.latimes.com...
[4]: http://www.msnbc.com...
Tough

Con

Tough forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Go4thegold

Pro

My opponent has failed to post an argument for round 1. So I shall post my argument for round 2 now.

In comparison to traditional voter registration, automatic voter registration would be able to save time for voters by eliminating the need for any voter to fill out any forms needed to officially register to vote, while at the same time, it would also save the state time by eliminating the need to process any such forms needed to register said voter. This would be accomplished by tying voter registration to existing government databases, such as tax information, employment information, address information, or other information that is not available to the state, but to the federal government, which state governments could easily request. [1] For example, the state already knows where each resident living within it's boundaries resides, and the state already knows the boundaries of its voting precincts, so automatic voter registration would simplify changing a voter's voting precinct by tying it to a voter's change of address. Furthermore, this would allow for a simpler change in state voter registration, where if a voting-age American moves to a different state, that voter's new address would be given to both the voter's previous state of residence, and his or her current state of residence, allowing for simpler additions to the current state's registered voter population, and simpler removal from the previous state's registered voter population. [1]

As for automatically registering new voters, there is plenty of information available to the state that can be used to register those voters. Employment information, for example, is already available to the state since employers have to give an employee's information to the state so taxes can be deducted from that employee's paycheck. Also, states have access to social security information, and each citizen of the United States is given a social security number at birth. States could use this information available to monitor when a resident of the state becomes eligible to vote, and thus is able to be registered. [1]

Now, apart from streamlining the voter registration process, there is another benefit to having automatic voter registration in place, and that benefit is increased voter turnout. as of November 2014, there were approximately 219 million eligible voters in the United States.[2] In the 2014 midterm elections, approximately 92 million of those eligible voters voted in the 2014 elections, constituting a voter turnout of roughly thirty-nine percent of the total voting eligible population.[2] However, when taking into account the number of eligible voters that were registered as of November 2014, which stands at 142 million, or roughly sixty-five percent of the total US voting eligible population, then the voter turnout jumps to sixty-five percent of total registered voters.[2] If all eligible voters in the US were registered to vote, and if they turn out at roughly the same rate as registered voters did in 2014, then there would be an additional fifty million votes counted during that election.

In short, automatic voter registration simplifies voter registration, and manages to boost voter turnout by getting more people registered to vote, allowing for elections to more accurately reflect the total voting eligible population.

Sources:
[1]: http://www.fairvote.org...
[2]: http://www.census.gov...

Note: I had accidentally pasted a link to information from November 2012 when I had meant to post information from November 2014. The census link above is the accurate information.
Tough

Con

Tough forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Go4thegold

Pro

I have just learned that my opponent's account is no longer active. I will no longer continue to participate in this debate.
Tough

Con

Tough forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Go4thegold

Pro

Go4thegold forfeited this round.
Tough

Con

Tough forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.