Election Day Registration (EDR), sometimes called “same day registration” (SDR), allows eligible voters to register and cast a ballot on Election Day. Nine states currently have EDR or SDR laws. Maine, Minnesota and Wisconsin adopted EDR in the 1970s. Idaho, New Hampshire and Wyoming enacted Election Day Registration two decades later. Montana implemented EDR in 2006. In 2007, Iowa and North Carolina both enacted same day registration. Iowa now allows registration and voting on Election Day. North Carolina permits registration and voting on the same day during the state’s liberal early voting period.
By counteracting arbitrary voter registration deadlines, EDR greatly enhances the opportunity for Americans to participate in the electoral process and cast a ballot that will be properly counted. States with EDR have consistently boasted turnout rates 10 to 12 percentage points higher than states that do not offer Election Day Registration. The 2006 midterm election was no different.