Connecticut DMV launches automatic voter registration effort

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HARTFORD — Connecticut residents will soon be automatically registered to vote when they apply for a driver’s license.

Starting Monday, the state Department of Motor Vehicles said every application or renewal of a driver’s license or non-driver identification will also function as a voter registration application unless the customer opts out.

The new initiative is the result of an out-of-court settlement between the state and the U.S. Department of Justice following a civil rights investigation.

The justice department found the state wasn’t compliant with the so-called “motor voter” provision of federal National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires states provide voter registration opportunities for federal elections at DMV offices.

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill called the initiative a “major step” toward ensuring every eligible resident can vote.