Civic Education Fund

Set It and Forget It: How Default Settings Rule the World

Automatic voter registration gives people the decision to opt-out of being registered to vote instead of opting-in at the DMV; in this process, it will change our default understanding of voter registration. It has the potential to revolutionize voting rolls and voting behavior in the United States as it becomes our default setting. iVote has gone on the offensive to push automatic voter registration bills throughout the United States. You can read more about how default settings impact our lives everyday in the article below.

From ProPublico

By Lena Groeger

"Defaults are the settings that come out of the box, the selections you make on your computer by hitting enter, the assumptions that people make unless you object, the options easily available to you because you haven’t changed them.

They might not seem like much, but defaults (and their designers) hold immense power – they make decisions for us that we’re not even aware of making. Consider the fact that most people never change the factory settings on their computer, the default ringtone on their phones, or the default temperature in their fridge..."

"Defaults could also help get out the vote. Automatic voter registration would automatically sign up eligible citizens to vote when they interact with government agencies (say, to get their driver’s licenses). Instead of our current cumbersome and error-prone system that says you can’t vote unless you register, this modern reform would default to registration unless you opt out. Five states have already approved automatic voter registration measures and 24 more are considering legislation."

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