American Government and Politics

Happy Birthday, You Get To Vote

Ellen Seljan Lewis & Clark College
,
Paul Gronke Reed College
Abstract
Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) systems register to vote all eligible individuals who transact with proscribed government agencies, most commonly the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs). Many individuals interact with the DMV due to the need to renew their drivers’ licenses. Because licenses expire on birthdays, an individual’s birth date can be used as an exogenous reason why some individuals are registered to vote in time for an election, whereas others are not. Our analysis compares registration and voting rates for individuals with birth dates prior and subsequent to the voter registration deadline. After calculating a causal effect of AVR on turnout at the individual level, we extrapolate this effect to the overall effect of AVR on total voter turnout by state.
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