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Senator Lee introduces automatic voter registration policy for Guam

Guam Sen. Régine Biscoe Lee

Guam Sen. Régine Biscoe Lee has introduced bipartisan Bill 234-34 (LS), which would implement a streamlined voter registration process for all eligible citizens in Guam as well as providing them with the choice to opt out. Lee, who serves as chairwoman of the Committee on Innovation and Economic, Workforce,and Youth Development in the 34th Guam Legislature, introduced the bill with co-sponsors Sens. William M. Castro, Fernando B. Esteves, Thomas A. Morrison, Joe S. San Agustin, and Mary Camacho Torres.

“Involvement in our government’s democratic process through voting should be as streamlined for our citizens as possible. This policy, among other benefits, would make voting easier and encourage voter participation because it removes a hurdle to becoming registered and because more eligible citizens would be registered to vote,” Biscoe Lee said.

"We look forward to working with the Department of Revenue and Taxation, Guam Election Commission and other stakeholders as we seek to provide another more efficient and convenient way to register to vote. The bill also provides a pathway for streamlined voter registration for eligible students from the University of Guam and Guam Community College."

This bill would expand the legislative efforts of Sen. Mary Camacho Torres’ 2015 “Motor Voter Law,”which made voter registration optional when applying for a new or renewed ID or driver’s license.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, nine states and Washington, D.C., have enacted legislation to automatically register voters, while another 32 states have introduced similar legislation this year. The center says that the policy modernizes voter registration and dramatically increases registration rates, reporting that nearly every state that has adopted the policy has grown its voter registration numbers, some up to sevenfold. Subsequently, voter turnout at elections improves as well.