Many citizens become most interested and engaged in elections in the final weeks before Election Day, when campaigns reach their peak. Pennsylvania voters are required to register or update their registrations 30 days before an election in order to participate. This requirement is outdated and unnecessary. Same-day registration eliminates this deadline and makes it possible for citizens to register when they are most engaged.

States With Same Day Registration

Same-day registration also ensures that all citizens can make their voices heard by fixing inaccurate voter rolls. Many voters lose their eligibility merely because they have moved. This is particularly problematic for seniors moving into retirement communities and veterans and working people who move often. Other voters are not added to the rolls because of bureaucratic errors. Failure to discover these problems before the registration deadline results in citizens losing their vote. With same-day registration, voters can update registration records or register at their polling place before casting their votes.

Pioneered in the 1970s, 14 states and the District of Columbia currently offer same-day registration, and it’s been proven to increase voter turnout. In 2012, voter turnout was 10 percent higher in states with same-day registration than in other states. Four of the five states with the highest voter turnout offered same-day registration. Same-day registration also reduces the use of provisional ballots, helping to assure voters that their ballots will be counted and saving elections officials the time and expense of processing many provisional votes.

Pennsylvania’s voting system works well, but offering same-day registration will make voting easier and more convenient, increase access and bring our voting system into the 21st Century.