West Virginia Looks at Same-Day Registration

CHARLESTON — Lawmakers heard discussion on allowing same-day voter registration in West Virginia, though some questioned the costs and the security of such a plan.

Members of Subcommittee C of the Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary heard from experts and election officials in North Carolina about same-day voter registration, which North Carolina allows during its early voting period.
 
A total of nine states and Washington, D.C. have adopted same-day voter registration, either during early voting or on Election Day itself.
Steven Carbó, senior program director of the Democracy Program at Demos, a liberal advocacy organization, said that same-day voter registration is an effective means of increasing voter registration without added costs or burdens.
 
 
A total of 12 states have voter registration deadlines earlier than West Virginia, which closes its voter registration around three weeks before an election. With the population becoming increasingly more mobile and advances in technology, Carbó said that there was no reason to maintain registration deadlines.
 
“Same-day registration is effective at increasing registration, particularly for people who are more mobile,” Carbó said. “It’s cost effective and does not undermine the integrity of the vote.”