Drivers’ Licenses, Voter Registration, and Presidential Possibilities


This past week the Oregon legislature passed and the governor of that state signed legislation that would automatically register to vote every citizen with a driver’s license issued by the state.

I was going to write a post contrasting that law with a late amendment to Ohio’s transportation bill that would have required people from out-of-state to obtain an Ohio driver’s license and to register their vehicle with the state within 30 days to establish residency and thus be able to register to vote.

This measure, inserted by Senate Republicans just prior to passage of the bill, appeared to be designed to create barriers that would discourage out-of-state college students from voting in Ohio in the 2016 elections. Media reports estimated that as many as 100,000 students would have been affected.

If you recall, ahead of the 2014 elections, a similarly designed bill was introduced in the Ohio legislature to…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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