A Good Idea: Federal Election Day Voter Registration

Federal Election Day Voter Registration is a great way to increase voter turnout. Election Day Registration would ensure that no voters are disenfranchised by voter registration regulations. Currently, there is a bill in the US Senate, proposed by Senator Feingold, that would establish Federal Election Day Voter Registration and it needs your support. As Wisconsinites, we have the privilege to register to vote on Election Day; however, for many other citizens, this is not the case. In most states, you must register to vote 20-30 days before the election. This, according to research, is well before most average citizens even consider the election or who they will be voting for.

According to Senator Feingold, ‘€œElection Day registration has worked well in Wisconsin for more than 30 years and is a major reason why Wisconsin is a national leader in voter turnout. By allowing people to register in person on Election Day, we can bring more people into the process, which only strengthens our democracy.’€  This statement couldn’€™t be more accurate.  In fact, a study by the Center for Policy Alternatives shows that voter turnout in states that have Election Day Registration was 74% in the 2004 elections versus 60% in states without it.  

Election Day Registration (EDR) would increase turnout in voters that are typically disenfranchised by registration regulations.  The student vote is one that is typically negatively impacted by registration regulations.  According to research, youth voter turnout is, on average, 14% higher in states with EDR than states without it.

EDR protects Americans fundamental right to vote without hindering the workers at the polls or the election process.  A federal Election Day voter registration law is an excellent way to ensure that all Americans will have the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote. 

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