Expanding the Vote: The Practice and Promise of Election Day Registration

Expanding the Vote: The Practice and Promise of Election Day Registration

January 1, 2002
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This report examines election day registration (EDR), an important reform measure that would help address some of the problems highlighted by the 2000 election. Currently, six states have election day registration - Wisconsin, Maine, Minnesota, Idaho, Wyoming and New Hampshire. As the research presented in this report shows, allowing voters to register and vote on election day helps to increase participation significantly and to ensure that all voters who arrive at the polls can vote. The six states with election day registration have substantially higher voter turnout than the national average and report few problems with fraud, excessive costs, or administrative complexity. Extending election day registration to other states, and eventually the entire nation, would bring millions of new voters to the polls and help reverse the long-term decline of voting in the United States.

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