First, allow me to commend the Chair and members of the Committee for considering Election Day Registration (EDR). By passing EDR legislation, Nebraska would be taking a major step towards expanding access to the democratic process to all Nebraskans.
Currently, nine states have some form of Election Day Registration, and one (North Dakota) has no voter registration requirement at all. Since the elections of 2000, at least 33 of the remaining 40 states have considered a proposal for “Same Day” or “Election Day” Registration. The states that have current proposals or have considered them within the last five years are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington.
Most recently, EDR was adopted in 2007 by your neighboring state of Iowa. There is much to say in favor of Election Day Registration. It has proven to be a boon to voting by young people. In an era where voter turnout in this country has reduced, EDR is a measure that can have a positive impact.
In this testimony, I wish to touch on four key points.
First, EDR is a reform that can have a meaningful impact on turnout in elections. Moreover, a new report we have just produced suggests that EDR in Nebraska could increase turnout in the state by about 5%, with a particular enhancement of voting among young people.
Second, EDR is a proven reform that has worked in urban, suburban and rural settings
Third, despite some fears to the contrary, EDR has never been a source of voter fraud.
And fourth, Dēmos has sponsored and conducted a wide range of research about EDR and its impact on elections, I have attached copies of our most recent reports to my testimony and I urge you to review that research and our findings as you continue your discussions about the measure. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the research or if you need additional information.
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