To be sure, any modernization plan will require protections to make sure that only individuals who are eligible and want to be registered are registered and that personal information is safeguarded. The Democratic measure has extensive and effective safeguards to accomplish those goals.
Despite the intensity of the current debate over voting rights, everyone agrees that we need an election system that works for everyone — where all eligible Americans, and only eligible Americans, can vote. And we need a system that is secure, accurate and not susceptible to manipulation. Although it will not end the voting wars, voter registration modernization presents a special opportunity for detente. Lawmakers from all political parties should rally in support of this common-sense reform.
Wendy Weiser is director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. Jonathan Brater serves as counsel for the center’s Democracy Program.