Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco, June 1, 2019.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco, June 1, 2019.

Beto (BET'-oh) O'Rourke has unveiled a voting rights proposal he says can increase voter registration by 50 million and raise nationwide voter turnout to 65%.

He's seeking to ensure 35 million new voters cast ballots in 2024's presidential race.

The former Texas congressman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate announced Wednesday he'd champion legislation ensuring automatic voter registration, including preregistration starting at age 16 and same-day registration. He'd make Election Day a holiday, extend early voting and strengthen the Voting Rights Act.

O'Rourke promises to direct the Justice Department to combat strict voter ID laws around the country and keep some state officials from "purging" voter rolls. He'd back a constitutional amendment imposing 12-year House and Senate term limits and 18-year limits for Supreme Court justices.

The Pew Research Center says voter turnout was 61% in 2016.