During a campaign stop in Illinois on Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie decried efforts to simplify voter registration. He suggested that the higher voter turnout produced by such efforts is harmful to Republican candidates, and that Illinois’ new same-day voter registration statute is a Democratic “trick.” Referring to Illinois joining other states — including many Republican-led ones — in passing a same-day voter registration law, Christie said: “Same-day registration all of a sudden this year comes to Illinois. Shocking. It’s shocking. I’m sure it was all based on public policy, good public policy to get same-day registration here in Illinois just this year, when the governor is in the toilet and needs as much help as he can get.” … Christie, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, denounced the effort to boost voter turnout as an underhanded Democratic tactic. (The Illinois State Board of Elections is composed equally of Democrats and Republicans, according to the Chicago Tribune.) Referring to the same-day voter initiative, Christie said Quinn “will try every trick in the book,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Christie said the program is designed to be a major “obstacle” for the GOP’s gubernatorial candidates. In fact, most of the 11 states with same-day registration laws currently have Republican governors.
… According to data compiled by the think tank Demos, average voter turnout is more than 10 percent higher in states that allow citizens to register on the same day that they vote. Demos also notes that “four of the top five states for voter turnout in the 2012 presidential election all offered same-day registration.” There was some evidence in Wisconsin that same-day registration boosted Democratic turnout, but the Wisconsin State Journal of Madison reports that “Republican areas also saw heavy use of the state’s last-minute registration law.” The registration system been also been adopted by such deeply Republican states as Wyoming, Idaho and Utah.