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This article was adapted from "Voters Win with Election Day Registration, " a report published in February 2007 by DEMOS: A Network for Ideas and Action. www.demos.org
MOS POLICY BRIEF
Election Day Registration (EDR), sometimes called "same day registration," allows eligible voters to register and cast a ballot on Election Day. Seven states currently have EDR. Maine, Minnesota, and Wisconsin adopted it in the 1970s; Idaho, New Hampshire, and Wyoming enacted Election Day Registration two decades later; and Montana implemented it in 2006.
By counteracting arbitrary voter registration deadlines, EDR greatly enhances the opportunity for Americans to participate in the electoral process and cast a ballot that will be properly counted. States with EDR have consistently boasted of a turnout rate 10-12 percentage points higher than states that do not offer Election Day Registration. The 2006 midterm election was no different.
Voter Turnout in the 2006 Midterm Election
The Montana legislature adopted Election Day Registration in 2005. The law, which was enacted with bipartisan support, does not allow citizens to register and vote at polling places, as in other EDR states. Instead, Montanans may register and cast ballots at central county offices. The Montana secretary of state reported that despite this inconvenience almost four thousand Montana citizens registered and voted on Election Day in 2006.
Their ballots figured in the 6 percentage point increase in voter …