Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Benefits of Election Day Registration

With Connecticut joining the ranks of Election Day (or Same Day) Registration states, let's review how expanded registration opportunities make it possible for more people to participate. In 2010 Same Day Registration allowed almost 640,000 Americans to register and vote in the November 2, 2010 election. Moreover, states that allow for Same Day Registration consistently lead the nation in voter turnout.

A Demos factsheet highlights stats from the 2010 midterm elections and notes that average turnout in the nine states (and D.C.) with Same Day Registration was nearly 6 percentage points higher than in states without it.

2010 was the first time the District of Columbia used Same Day Registration after enacting it in 2009, while in Idaho Election Day registrants accounted for nearly 10% of ballots cast.

More than 23,000 New Hampshire residents registered and voted on Election Day in 2010, while almost 9,000 Wyoming residents used Same Day Registration to participate.

Maine and Minnesota both employ Election Day Registration and led the nation in voter turnout in the 2010 midterm with rates 15 percentage points higher than the national average. Turnout in Wisconsin and Iowa, who both have Same Day Registration, was 10 percentage points higher than the national average.

Nearly 10,000 Montana citizens registered and voted during the state's "late registration" period, which runs from the close of the regular registration period up to and including Election Day. In North Carolina turnout in the 2010 midterm was 8 percentage points higher than in the 2006 midterm. Nearly 40,000 voters used Same Day Registration to update their voter registration records and vote, along with an additional 21,000 new registrants.

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