Delaware is one step closer to allowing its unregistered voters to sign up and cast a ballot on Election Day. House lawmakers passed same-day voter registration legislation Thursday, allowing voters to register for presidential primary, primary, special and general elections on the same day they would cast their ballot. The current deadline is the fourth Saturday prior to the date of the election. The legislation, passed 24 to 15, reduces the need for provisional ballots, boosts voter registration, increases turnout among minorities and young voters, and is particularly effective during primary elections when a majority of Delaware’s elections are decided, its supporters say. “I don’t think that we, as elected officials, should put up artificial barriers in front of people,” said bill sponsor Rep. John Viola, D-Newark. “I think that people should be able to vote. How can we stop them from voting. I think it’s wrong.”
The bill made it off the House floor despite opposition from Republican lawmakers who argued that the state offers ample opportunities for voters to register. They raised concerns that same-day registration could lead to voter fraud and place an additional burden on poll workers.
Rep. Joe Miro, R-Pike Creek Valley, said those voters who wait until the last minute may not be very well-informed about the candidates they are choosing.
He said the legislation contains no checks or balances to protect against voter fraud, noting that several elections in the state have been decided by very few votes.
“We may be giving the office to someone who may not have won that election,” Miro said. “That’s a risk we are undertaking through this legislation.”
Full Article: House passes same-day voter registration.