Filer Voter: Linking Tax Filing to Voter Registration
You can view a live recording of the webcast on this page.
Over 150 million households file their taxes every year. What if tax filers, like those renewing their driver’s license or visiting public assistance agencies, were given the opportunity to register to vote? Innovative research by Brookings Governance Studies and Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center Senior Fellow Vanessa Williamson suggests that providing voter registration materials to tax filers can substantially increase registration rates, especially among those who have traditionally been underrepresented in the electorate.
Since 2010, 25 states have adopted policies that make it harder for eligible citizens to vote. Even in states that have recently eased voter registration requirements, or moved toward automatic voter registration, some citizens may still fall through the cracks. Linking two fundamental civic responsibilities–voting and taxpaying–could increase democratic participation and government accountability.
After a presentation of Williamson’s findings, a panel will discuss the report. The conversation will assess the effectiveness of conducting voter registration drives at sites providing free income tax preparation, how lower-income households are affected by the federal income tax, and how social policy can encourage or discourage civic engagement.
Following the conversation, speakers will take questions from the audience.
Jessica Fulton, Economic Policy Director, The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies @JessicaJFulton
Chye-Ching Huang, Director of Federal Fiscal Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities @dashching