From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
July 8, 1999
Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

Motor Voter Law Working in Texas

(Austin) //Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), the author of Texas' Motor Voter law, today praised Federal Election Commission figures reflecting a dramatic increase in the percentage of Texans registered to vote.

According to the Federal Election Commission, 7 million voters have registered to vote since 1994 because of the motor voter law. The number of Texans registered to vote has increased by nearly 3 million, from 8,641,848 in 1994 to 11,538,235 in 1998. The percentage of Texans registered to vote increased by 23 percent between 1994 and 1998, from 66 percent of the voting age population to 81 percent. According to the FEC, Texas' motor voter law deserves much of the credit for the increase.

In 1991, Senator Ellis initiated Texas' motor over program, which registers voters when they renew their drivers licenses. In 1995, Ellis led an expansion of the program to allow Texans to register at other state agencies in conformance with the federal National Voter Registration of 1993.

"The motor voter law brings democracy to the people," said Ellis. "It is one stop shopping that allows busy Texans to register to vote anywhere they are in contact with state government. With more Texans registered to vote, the next task is to get more people involved in the electoral process and to the polls. It is clear that the motor voter law is achieving our goal of registering more Texans."

TEXAS Registration Figures

  1994 1996 1998
Total Voting Age Population 13166000 13597000 14299000
Total Registered 8641848 10540678 11538235
Percent Registered 65.64% 77.52% 80.69%

Source: Federal Election Commission