Denise Merrill

It will take two years to develop, but the secretary of the state’s office and the Department of Motor Vehicles have signed an agreement to produce a system that will automatically register eligible DMV customers to vote.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said the system will be the first built subject to a voluntary development agreement, as opposed to a legislative mandate such as the one Merrill was seeking earlier this year.

The DMV opposed a mandate while it is trying to correct computer problems and improve customer wait times. Merrill had argued that the voter registration be one of the improvements to the system.

“This is a monumental event enhancing voting rights and opportunity in Connecticut, and a continuation of our rigorous efforts to bring new voters onto the rolls,” Merrill said.

 “We are very pleased with this agreement knowing that it will help bring more voters on the rolls in Connecticut,” said Michael Bzdyra, who was recently appointed as commissioner of DMV.

 The National Voter Registration Act, commonly called the “motor-voter law,” encouraged voter registration at DMV offices when eligible citizens obtain a driver’s license or identification car.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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