AVR’s (Automatic Voter Registration) best chance to advance in solidly Republican states may come through ballot initiatives. On Nov. 8, Alaskans will vote on a proposal to automate registration using a particularly popular agency, the Permanent Fund Dividend Division, which distributes annual payouts to residents from the state’s oil wealth trust.
“If you’re a person who forgets to apply [for Alaska's annual Permanent Fund Dividend], people talk about it for years afterwards, because it’s a big check,” says John-Henry Heckendorn, a strategist for the campaign supporting the initiative. “This could theoretically create one of the most accurate and updated voter registration systems in U.S. history.”
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