Lapel button that says Vote with a flag on it

Whenever there's an election in the United States, qualified voters are denied the right to vote because they haven't jumped through the hoops necessary to register.

Meanwhile, thousands of volunteers toil endless hours on a task that need not exist at all: registering voters.

But in 16 states, plus Washington D.C., registration is now automatic. There's no reason that Ohio can't be next to join this list: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.

State legislators are listening. We've progressed from one state to 16. Many others have introduced legislation. Click here to urge your state representatives and governor to act swiftly.

With automatic voter registration -- an opt-out option instead of "jump through hoops to register," as required in many states -- nobody is required to vote or even be registered. Rather, a government that already knows who we are through motor vehicle and other departments simply allows us to vote. (And the DMV in many states requires stricter proof of identity and citizenship than does traditional registration; and traditional registration remains available.)

As a result, more people vote and candidates have to win the votes of more people. Quite possibly more candidates gain traction, and certainly those seeking to get on ballots gather fewer invalid signatures, making initiatives easier.

The state government saves the expense of the existing ridiculous system of "registering" people it already knows.

"Let's get [people] on the rolls automatically and put all the resources and energy we've put into voter registration into voter education," said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Volunteers could set aside the endless work of voter registration and instead promote the policy positions they care about.

Click to send an email to your state legislators and governor letting them know you want voter registration to be automatic.