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Same Day Voter Registration

Essay by   •  October 11, 2010  •  Essay  •  456 Words (2 Pages)  •  976 Views

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Same day voter registration, as the name implies, is the process of registering to vote on the day elections are held. Because of the way this would and does affect the results of elections, it is a "hot topic" among many in the government.

Proponents of the issue use the argument that same day voter registration would increase voter turnout, which in fact, it has been proven to do. The three states that have currently adopted same day registration, Maine, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, have seen voter turnout increase by about 5%. This is due to the reduction in the cost of voting to the voter. Pre- registration requires time and effort, something so many Americans seem unwilling to spend. By allowing same day registration, the voter no longer has to have the foresight to register, nor take the time to find the registration place and then actually send in the registration card.

Same day registration also places less of a premium on permanent residence. Many lower class Americans who have no stable residence, along with those people who just move a lot, would find same day registration very convenient, and it might be the difference as to weather or not they vote.

Despite the many up-sides to same day registration, many feel it would be detrimental to the voting process. Along with same day registration comes a higher possibility of voting fraud. It would be easier for a voter to vote multiple times at different precincts.

Republicans are more likely to be against same day registration. They feel as if the people who take advantage of it, those who didn't get around to registering, would probably not be republicans. Many, republican or not, feel as if same day registration would also lead to "snap-decision" voting, voting for a cartoon character or a wrestler, or, god forbid, a third party candidate. Many opposed to same day registration feel that the people who are voting now without it are the people that need to be voting, and we don't need to involve anyone else.

Despite my initial feeling of indifference, I am for same day voter registration. I think that the more people that get involved and cast a vote, the more the elected official can properly represent those he or she serves. Same day registration is a barrier to voting, just like a literacy test or a poll tax. Many working Americans, poor Americans, and American college students don't have the time, foresight, or gas



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