Election Day Registration

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Election Day Registration (EDR), also known as same-day voter registration (SDR), 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.[1]


Demos.org lists several benefits to states allowing Election Day Registration:

  • Increases voter turnout
  • Eliminates arbitrary deadlines that cut off registration when voters are most interested
  • Remedies inaccurate voter rolls
  • Assists geographically mobile, lower income citizens, young voters and voters of color
  • Greatly reduces the need for provisional balloting
  • A cost-effective means to increase voter participation while maintaining the integrity of the vote[1]


Eligible voters can also use Election Day Registration to correct an outdated voter registration record and cast a ballot that will be counted. Pioneered by Maine, Minnesota, and Wisconsin in the early-to-mid-1970s, eleven states (California, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) and the District of Columbia have now enacted the reform.[1]

In the 2004 presidential election, voter turnout in states utilizing Election Day Registration was 12 percent higher than states that did not.[2] Likewise, in the 2006 elections, states with EDR showed turnout rates 10-12 percent higher than in non-EDR states.[3]

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 IDs, consults the registration list, and, if they are not registered, registers them on the spot.

See also

Ballotpedia:Index of Terms

External links