More than a dozen states plus the District of Columbia now offer same-day registration (SDR), allowing qualified residents to go to the polls or an election official’s office, before or on Election Day, register to vote, and then cast a ballot, all on the same day.
In most states, voters must register well before Election Day. The deadline varies, with states requiring registration eight to 30 days before the election.
Maintaining a period between registration and voting allows election officials time to verify the qualifications and residency of the voter, thus reducing the opportunity for vote fraud. Once an unverified and unqualified voter casts a ballot and it is counted, there is no way to go back and disqualify the illegally cast ballot.
Combining registration and voting on the same day causes long lines and unnecessary chaos on a day when millions of people are voting. The congestion caused by same-day registration can overwhelm poll workers and create long lines for registered voters. Same-day registration provides unnecessary pressure on local election officials who are responsible for providing up-to-date voter registration lists to each polling place.
As Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker observes, “States across the country that have same-day registration have real problems because the vast majority of their states have poll workers who are wonderful volunteers, who work 13-hour days and who in most cases are retirees,” he said. “It’s difficult for them to handle the volume of people who come at the last minute. It’d be much better if registration was done in advance of Election Day. It’d be easier for our clerks to handle that.”
The unverified registration process favors those political candidates who can round up otherwise indifferent citizens who know little about what’s on the ballot. An informed citizenry is the bulwark of a constitutional, democratic republic.
The U.S. Supreme Court has pheld Ohio’s election reform law, but liberal courts have struck down voter photo ID laws in other states such as North Carolina and North Dakota and watered down photo ID laws in Texas and Wisconsin. Federal judges also have vacated statutes in Alabama, Georgia and Kansas that permitted states to require proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote. The media and prominent Democrats cannot hide their delight.
Bad news for the Ohio Democratic party: On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a one-line order denying the party’s application for a stay in Ohio Democratic Party v. Husted — the eminently reasonable opinion recently issued by a panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals refusing to overturn changes in early voting and same-day registration rules enacted by the Ohio legislature.
The secretary conceded in a recent telephone conference call with state officials that there is no credible threat of a successful cyberattack on the voting and ballot-counting process, despite revelations about recent attacks on the voter-registration systems in Arizona and Illinois.
By Robert Knight Although people in the nation's smallest state can obtain photo voter IDs with ease, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says that requiring an ID in order to vote is a hardship. The group's Rhode Island chapter has demanded an end to the photo voter ID law that a solidly Democratic legislature enacted in 2011. It's the latest attack by the ACLU and other leftist groups against state election reforms that are specifically designed to prevent vote fraud. Over the past few years, courts have struck down laws in Arkansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Texas, while upholding them in Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio and Wisconsin. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana's photo voter ID law, which has been a model for other states. North Carolina's voter ID law, which also curbs early voting and ends out of precinct voting and same-day registration, went to trial in late July in a federal court.
By Hans von Spakovsky In 2013, North Carolina passed omnibus electoral reform legislation that, among other provisions, eliminated same-day registration, required that qualified persons who desire to vote in an election must register to vote no later than 25 days before Election Day, reduced the number of early voting days from 17 to 10, and created a voter ID requirement. Although opponents of this bill predicted that such reforms would disenfranchise minority voters and significantly suppress voter turnout, turnout actually increased. African-American voter turnout increased by almost 30 percent and Caucasian voter turnout increased by approximately 15 percent. Clearly, these changes did not suppress voter turnout.
7/16: Record numbers of same-day registration voters in Wisconsin bring fraud concerns to light.
5/31: California's new same-day registration policy makes it easier than ever to vote in the upcoming election.
2/16: A constitutional amendment in Michigan would allow same-day registration, automatic registration, expanded absentee voting, and more time for military members to cast ballots.