DMV Closures Hurting Voter Registration Numbers

Voters Automatically Registered At DMV When Doing A Number Of Transactions

Associated Press
April 03, 2020 - 5:53 am

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS (AP) — More than 20,000 people registered to vote in March, but the rate of people signing up to vote slowed at the end of the month when state Department of Motor Vehicles offices closed because of the coronavirus, according to Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske. 

The DMV closures have an outsized impact on voter registration numbers because of a new state law that automatically registers someone to vote when registering for a license with the DMV or making other transactions with the agency, unless the person opts out. 

Cegavske’s office said Wednesday night that for the first half of March, the state DMV saw 2,100 transactions daily, but in the second half of the month as the virus spread, it dropped to about 470 transactions a day. 

Overall Nevada saw the number of active registered voters grow by 1.27% in March. 

Democrats represent 39% of all registered voters, while Republicans make up 33% and unaffiliated voters are 23%.