Sunday, January 24, 2010

Same Day Voter Registration

Representative Jim Trujillo (D-Santa Fe) has introduced HB 123. HB 123 would allow early voters the oportunity to register to vote and vote on the same day. Unfortunately, the provision does not apply on Election Day.

Voting Matters has long upported repealing the provision of law that requires voter registration 28 days before an election, and HB 123 is a step in the right direction. While we would have preferred a bill that abolishes the 28 day provision altogether, we do support HB 123 and hope it will lead to even further easing in the process of voter registration and participation.

Statistics bear out that states which allow Election Day Registration have higher rates of voter participation than those that prohibit it.

Likewise, we wonder why the process of registering to vote is made so difficult. Instead, we'd like to see our government facilitate the process. Voter participation would increase if the govenrment removed the additional hurdle of requiring voters to register themselves.

Why shouldn't a person become registered to vote when they first interact with the government- when they get a job and start paying taxes, or apply for government services or a driver's license, or graduate high school? These are certainly viable solutions and we hope the conversation will change from same day registration to universal voter registration.

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