The Importance of Same-Day Registration

Yesterday, I registered a wonky disagreement with the presidential voting commission’s report. Today, I raise a more straightforward cavil. Kevin Collins and StephanieWDC kick things off:

Same-day registration (aka, Election Day registration, or EDR) allows people to register (or fix their existing registration) at the polls on Election Day. The beauty of this system is that if a citizen who is generally uninterested in politics is persuaded to vote on Election Day (perhaps because of the media attention, peer pressure, or the prevalence of “I Voted” stickers) then that person doesn’t have to worry about the fact that they didn’t do any pre-planning with respect to their registration. Their vote will count. Thus, EDR boosts turnout by 3 to 7 percentage points.

Perhaps the commission didn’t endorse EDR because more people showing up on Election Day who need help with registration slows the process down. But if local election officials use resource calculators, we can solve that problem while boosting turnout and improving our democracy.

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2 Responses to The Importance of Same-Day Registration

  1. Kevin Collins says:

    One caveat here: the reason why people are talking about Same Day Registration instead of Election Day Registration is that, per the study discussed in the blog post I linked to, Early Vote where you can register and vote in one step and do so early has positive benefits.

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