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Gorbea says automatic voter registration coming soon

Nellie Gorbea is Rhode Island's secretary of state.

In the near future, when you renew your driver's license at the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles, you can also register to vote.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea answered our questions about automatic voter registration becoming law -- signed by Gov. Gina Raimondo this week -- which will allow people doing business at the Division of Motor Vehicles to also register to vote.

"I pushed for it because it is a great way for Rhode Islanders when they update their addresses with the government that that address change is made across the board into their voter file," Gorbea said Friday during a taping of "10 News Conference."

The move to automatic voter registration is supposed to help with duplicate registrations, unintentional mistakes and boost voter participation or turnout at the polls.

"What this does is, you'll go into DMV and say I've moved, I'm going to change my driver's license address, and it will automatically send that information to the Department of State, so you don't have to worry about it anymore," Gorbea said.

When the system can go online is up for debate.

"I know we'll be able to get this done and the governor has made this a priority for her. We're going to be able to deliver this to Rhode Islanders in the near future," Gorbea said.

The timeframe is uncertain.

"It's hard to say because now that the bill has finally passed into law, I need to sit down and talk about the calendar with them," Gorbea said, "but it's certainly something I'm looking forward to implementing myself."

Meanwhile, Gorbea continues to clean up the voter rolls.

Working with cities and towns, her office has legally removed 66,000 voters who either moved or passed away.

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