Copyright 2020

October 15, 2019

How to boost voter registration at tax time

Seniors sign-up to vote during National Voter Registration day at a high school in Escondido, California September 22, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike Blake - GF10000216439


Vanessa Williamson, a senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings, says that “ensuring that every citizen is able to vote is one of the most important tasks facing American democracy.” But more than one in five eligible voters is not registered to vote, and many states are imposing new voting and registration restrictions. What if at the same time Americans file their federal income taxes—one of the only times each year that most Americans interact directly with the federal government—they were also given the opportunity to register to vote? Williamson argues that this policy would have a number of positive benefits, including increased representation, and also strengthen American democracy.