Election Day Registration
Election Day Registration, also known as "same-day voter registration," permits eligible citizens to register and vote on Election Day. Election Day Registration significantly increases the opportunity for all citizens to cast a vote and participate in democracy.
Nine states have some form of Election Day Registration: Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Wyoming. (Montana enacted the practice for the first time in 2006. North Carolina first implemented their plan in the fall of 2007. And Iowa begins EDR in 2008). (Connecticut also has EDR, but only for casting votes for the Presidency. It should also be noted that North Dakota has no voter registration requirement at all.) Under the new system in place in North Carolina, same-day registration occurs three to nineteen days before the scheduled election.
In the 2004 presidential election, voter turnout in states utilizing Election Day Registration was 12 percent higher than states that did not. Likewise, in the 2006 elections, states with EDR showed turnout rates 10-12 percent higher than in non-EDR states. .
In EDR states, eligible citizens who are not found on the voting lists are asked to show a valid ID to a poll worker, who checks their ID, consults the registration list, and, if they are not registered, registers them on the spot. Research shows that the people most likely to be affected are middle- and low-income voters, young people, and recent movers.