Ellison Introduces National Same-Day Voter Registration Bill

October 29th, 2009

From The Washington Independent, H/T @ACSLaw:

The Minnesota Independent reports that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) has introduced a bill that would allow Election Day registration for federal elections across the country.

The Same Day Registration Act would let people register at the polling place on Election Day rather than requiring registration weeks or months ahead of time, as most states do.

Same-day registration is already law in seven states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, plus the District of Columbia. Common Cause claims those states see voter-turnout rates as much as 7 percent higher than others. North Dakota is the only state to do without voter registration altogether.

In a statement, Ellison outlined the advantage of such a system:

Minnesota routinely leads the nation in voter turnout – usually over 70 percent. … Enacting a National Election Day Registration law would do for the nation what same day registration has done for our State – give a voice to all who want to vote.

While I was volunteering on election day, one of the Obama “Voter Protection” workers was explaining to me why voter registration should not be an Opt-In system, and that everyone at the age of 18 should automatically be registered. Basically everyone would use their social security number as a voter registration number. I haven’t given this topic much thought, though I’m not sure how this will help minimize voter fraud.