Florida primaries are here and Fusion’s Alicia Menendez didn’t make it to the polls. Turns out she missed the deadline for registering for primaries. Even though she’s lived here for a year. Even though she signed up for some reminder services – and they reminded her, like three times. Even though she’s worked for voter registration groups and considers voting the most sacred of civic acts.
She has a laundry list of excuses. She was traveling, busy, she’s a certified mess. But putting all that aside, she’s embarrassed. Embarrassed enough to call herself out on national TV, and in turn, call out a state government that doesn’t allow same day voter registration.
This isn’t a radical idea. Fifteen states and DC have enacted same-day voter registration, but that leaves the voters of 35 states sh*t out of luck. So why wouldn’t every state adopt same-day voter registration?
In the 2008 presidential election, Iowa spent less than $40,000 to introduce same-day registration in its 99 counties. That’s about $4,000 per county or in terms we can all understand—an all inclusive trip for two to Sandals.
Some critics of same-day registration say it compromises the integrity of the vote. Unlike registering by mail, same day registration requires voters to show their mugs to an election official and real life human being.
Here’s the bottom line:
Same day voter registration gets rid of arbitrary deadlines. It helps those of us who move often– lower income citizens, voters of color and young adults– to participate in the process.
Most importantly it increases voter turnout. You can’t argue with that.