(ThinkProgress) On Saturday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that will allow the state to automatically register millions of residents to vote, using their DMV records.
Starting in 2016, every eligible California citizen who goes to a DMV office to get a driver's license or renew one will be instantly registered to vote, unless he or she chooses to opt out.
"Citizens are currently forced to opt-in to their fundamental right to vote through registration," said Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who wrote the bill and pushed for its passage. "We do not have to opt-in to other rights. We do not have to opt-in to free speech or due process. The right to vote should be no different."
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In an interview earlier this year, Padilla told ThinkProgress the new law could help bring the 6.6 million California citizens who are eligible but not registered to vote into the democratic process.