CA governor signs bill automatically registering residents to vote when they get a driver's license
Jerry Brown (Shutterstock)

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Saturday that will automatically make residents eligible to vote when they go to the DMV to get a driver's license or renew their old one.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the bill will allow the state to register everyone as a voter unless they opt out.

California joins Oregon as the only two states to proactively register people to vote unless they decline.

According to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, the move comes after voters set a record-low in participation in last year’s election.

“In a free society, the right to vote is fundamental,” Padilla said in a statement after Brown signed the bill. “We do not have to opt-in to other rights, such as free speech or due process. The right to vote should be no different,"

The state's move to make it easier to vote is in direct contrast to recent developments in Alabama where Republican state officials are closing down DMV offices in predominately  black neighborhoods, making it harder to register to vote.