Same-day Registration in the 2012 Election

Same-day Registration in the 2012 Election

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Election Day registration is currently available in eight states—Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Wyoming—and the District of Columbia. North Carolina allows same-day registration during its early voting period, but a new law, to take effect in 2014, will repeal that provision. California, Colorado, and Connecticut have passed laws instituting Election Day registration in the coming years.

Recent data from the Election Assistance Commission and its biannual survey of voter registration, however, show 10 additional states recorded same-day registrations in 2012.

There are clear explanations for some states:

  • Alaska and Rhode Island allow Election Day registration for presidential elections.
  • Ohio allows voters to register and cast in-person absentee ballots for a period of time prior to Election Day.

In other states it is less clear what occurred:

  • In Mississippi, which has no same-day registration law, one county reported 1,190 same-day registrations.
  • In New Mexico, inconsistent information was provided; four counties responded to the survey by stating same-day registration is not allowed, but 1,572 same-day registrations were reported across three other counties.