Same Day Registration

same day voter registration
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11 states plus the District of Columbia presently offer same-day registration (SDR), allowing any qualified resident of the state to go to the polls or an election official’s office on Election Day, register that day, and then vote. California, Hawaii and Vermont have enacted same-day registration but have not yet implemented it.

In most other states, voters must register by a deadline prior to Election Day. The deadline varies by state, with most falling between eight and 30 days before the election.
NCSL – Same Day Voter Registration



How SDR Works

  • Proof of residency  is a key requirement in all states that offer same-day registration. In a traditional (pre-Election Day) registration, election officials have time to send a non-forwardable mailing to the prospective voter in order to verify the voter’s residence before processing the registration application. Because that isn’t possible with SDR, the prospective voter must present proof of residency at the time of registration. A current driver’s license or ID card will suffice in all states. In some states, documents such as a paycheck or utility bill with an address is acceptable for proving residence. A few states also permit an already-registered voter to vouch for the residency of an Election Day registrant.
  • Voter ID:  All of the SDR states also require that voters who register and vote on Election Day present documentation to verify their identity. Some states require a photo ID; others accept IDs without a photo.



Huffington Post – Americans Should Push Back Against Voter Suppression Laws

PBS – Interactive map: Does same-day registration affect voter turnout in the U.S.?

Same-Day Voter Registration Available for November 2015 Election

Demos – What Is Same Day Registration? Where Is It Available?

Demos – Applauds Gov. O’Malley For New Maryland Same Day Registration Law

Washington Post – North Dakota doesn’t even have voter registration. But if you have an outdated ID, you can’t vote.

Rock the Vote – Voter Registration Deadlines

Ballotpedia – Same Day Voter Registration

The American Prospect – A Budgetary Case for Same Day Registration

The New York Times – Same-Day Voter Registration Would Improve Turnout

The Atlantic – A judge ruled that a law eliminating a week of early voting and same-day registration violates the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.


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