Ellison: 'I've Often Asked Myself Why You Should Have to Register to Vote'

By Craig Millward | February 16, 2015 | 11:25 AM EST

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Speaking at the U.S. Vote Foundation's Voting and Elections Summit earlier this month, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said "we need to make voting easier," and "I've often asked myself why you should have to register to vote."

In his remarks in the opening keynote address, Ellison said, "Now I also think we need to make voting easier. It should be easier. In other countries it's easier. Why should voting be so difficult? Tuesday? Who thought that up? I mean the fact is, is that there's wide variation in when people can vote. You can't necessarily register to vote on Election Day. I've often asked myself why you should have to register to vote. Why shouldn't it be automatic."

In his address, Ellison called for "greater enfranchisement" of voters in the U.S. , adding that "We have to protect voting rights. We need to make voting easy as possible, and we need to fix our broken campaign finance laws."

Ellison also criticized conservatives for trying to restrict the right to vote through voter I.D. laws.

"Conservatives know that the data doesn't support the need for these restrictive laws, and I remember way back as a Minnesota state legislator making the case that there's no voter impersonation going on, why do we need those photo I.D. laws? Well, I was missing the point. The point was they wanted to restrict the right to vote," he said.

According to his website, Ellison has sponsored the Same Day Registration Act of 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, and the Voter Access Protection Act of 2013, 2011 and 2007.