Election Day Registration: A Ground Level View

Election Day Registration: A Ground Level View

November 20, 2007
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To assess the validity of assertions that enactment of Election Day Registration results in administrative complexity, implementation costs, and the potential for error or fraud, Demos conducted a telephone survey of local election officials in EDR states; Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming. This reports provides a telling picture of how local election officials responded.

Maine, Minnesota and Wisconsin adopted the practice of Election Day Registration (known as EDR) in the early 1970s. After a two-decade lull in reform activity, Wyoming, New Hampshire and Idaho passed EDR laws in the early ‘90s.We are now seeing a third wave of interest in EDR. Montana approved an EDR law in June 2006. Iowa followed in April 2007. In July 2007, North Carolina enacted a “same day registration” law which allows registration and voting at the state’s early voting sites (open from 19 to three days before an election), though not on Election Day. During the 2007 legislative session 23 states considered EDR or same day registration measures.