Fair elections advocates are cheering the newest state to approve same-day voter registration: Vermont.
The state joins 14 others in offering residents an opportunity to register to vote as late as the day of an election when the governor recently signed S.29 into law.
Here’s what Vermont’s speaker of the House told Vermont Public Radio:
We passed a Same-Day Voter Registration bill. In a day and age where voter participation is going down, and where it’s more and more important have people involved, I think facilitating the ability of people to vote is really important. It’s fundamental to our democracy. In the end, if people don’t participate, and aren’t casting their ballots, I think it calls into question the legitimacy of our representative government. From my perspective, there are many states that have this, they see their voter participation rates go up, it’s really important for democracy as a whole.
As a matter of background, in the majority other states, voters must generally register by a deadline prior to the election in which they would like to vote. The deadline varies by state, with most falling between eight and 30 days before the election.
In Pennsylvania, the deadline to register to vote is 30 days prior to Election Day.
However, there are several fair-elections and voter-registration bills being mulled in Pennsylvania’s Legislature – including one that deals with same-day registration. To read more about that, please click here.