Same-day voter registration could become a reality in the Mountain State. Representatives from North Carolina joined Steven Carbo of Demos, a nonpartisan organization that focuses on national issues, in testifying before the West Virginia Legislature’s Judiciary Subcommittee C Jan. 9 to talk about same-day voter registration. Nine states, including North Carolina, currently have a same-day voter registration system in place, and Carbo said those states have seen a dramatic increase in voter participation. “We have historically seen voter participation in same-day states 10 to 12 points higher than in non-same-day states,” Carbo said.
The system varies from state to state, but mostly it allows voters to register at a polling place the same day as the election by providing identification and proof of residency. After registering, the newly registered voter can cast a ballot that same day. Carbo said this system decreases the number of provisional ballots, which aren’t always counted. In 2008, provisional ballots in North Carolina decreased by 40,000 compared to the 2006 midterm election, he said.
… Sharon Lewis, deputy director of the Carteret County Board of Directors in North Carolina, said her county had 1,000 provisional ballots in 2004, but fewer than half of those votes counted. Now that her state has implemented same-day registration, the number of provisional ballots has dropped to 400. Carteret County has 48,000 registered voters.