New York, NY - On May 5 2012, the Connecticut Senate passed legislation introduced by Governor Dannell Malloy, and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill to enact Same Day Registration and online voter registration, effective July 2013 and January 2014, respectively. The bill, HR 5024, had been previously passed by the state House. It now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature, expected later this month.
“Demos applauds the Connecticut House and Senate for enacting Same Day Registration and online voter registration,” said Miles Rapoport, former Connecticut Secretary of the State and current President of Demos, a national public policy organization which has been active in the fight for voters rights in Connecticut and across the nation. “While other states are busy restricting the vote with strict new voter ID requirements and barriers to community voter registration drives, Connecticut’s progressive legislators, Governor Malloy, and Secretary of State Merrill are opening up new avenues to voter participation.”
Rapoport continued, “Same Day Registration is a proven means of expanding the vote. Maine, New Hampshire, and seven other states allow citizens to register and vote -- or update their existing registrations -- on Election Day or during early voting periods. These Same Day Registration states lead the nation in voter turnout.”
Elections experts have predicted that Same Day Registration can increase overall voter turnout by about 4 to 5 percent. Greater gains are projected for segments of the electorate with historically lower voting rates, such as young voters and people of color.
“Democracy is at its best with active, engaged citizens,” said Rapoport. “In Connecticut, that starts with adding another half-million eligible but unregistered voters to the voter rolls. Reforms like Election Day Registration and online voter registration can greatly expand voter participation each election.”
Same Day Registration legislation was first introduced in the Connecticut General Assembly 25 years ago by Miles Rapoport when he served in the House and on the Government Administration and Elections Committee.
“Twenty-five years later, I’m elated that the General Assembly succeeded in enacting Same Day Registration. I couldn’t dream of a better present to Connecticut voters on the Silver Anniversary of SDR’s initial introduction. “