Florida Sen. Jeff Clemens makes push to register all new drivers to vote

Duval County supervisor of elections sees pros and cons in proposal

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A bill being pushed in the Florida Legislature by a Lake Worth Democrat would automatically register people to vote when they get a driver's license.

This is something Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said, at face value, could be good for the voting process.

"We do have thousands of voters who move and never contact us," said Holland. "Creating a big expense because we have to go through the process of notifying them."

Sen. Jeff Clemens said he's pushing the bill because he feels this would eliminate the controversy over voter registration, but Holland said there could be problems with it.

"There's also a cost to registering people automatically for people who don't want to vote," said Holland. "It gives them an option to opt out, but often times in hurrying through the process they go through the process not knowing to opt out. My concern is the expense of sending out voter registration cards and sample ballots to thousands of people who may not want to vote."

There could be political ramifications too.  No one knows yet whether bringing in a whole new crop of registered voters would be better for Democrats or Republicans.  Holland said both parties will look at who benefits from the potential new voters.

"If there is or isn't, it will definitely be considered and both parties will look at that," said Holland. "But the reality is, are we saying those who wouldn't originally register to vote would vote for one party or the other. That's a hard question to answer."

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