By Benjamin Barber, Facing South

Voters in last year’s presidential election flipped crucial swing states including the Republican stronghold of Georgia, where a Democratic presidential candidate hadn’t won in 28 years. New data shows that a main factor behind the outcome in Georgia was a surge in the number of registered voters due in large part to the state’s automatic voter registration. The program automatically registers eligible residents when they interact with the state’s Department of Driver Services (DDS) and updates voter information for those already registered.

Since Georgia implemented automatic voter registration in 2016, its number of registered voters has increased by about 1.5 million, to a total of 7.7 million. Around 67% of the new registrations came from the state’s automatic voter registration program, according to a new report from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

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