The Senate will take up a same day voter registration bill this week. S.29 would allow a town clerk to add a registrant’s name to the voter checklist during regular business hours on Election Day. Under the legislation, eligible voters could fill out a registration form, and the presiding officer at the polls would inform them if they were approved to vote. The Senate Government Operations Committee passed the bill in a 3-2. Sens. Jeanette White, D-Windham, Anthony Pollina, D/P-Washington, and Christopher Bray, D-Addison, voted for the bill. Sens. Brian Collamore, R-Rutland, and Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, opposed it.
Town clerks from Barre and South Burlington testified against the bill, citing a lack of broadband and concerns over voter fraud. Secretary of State Jim Condos testified in favor of S.29, citing voter participation as 7 percent to 12 percent higher in states with same-day registration.
Pollina said Monday there are about a dozen other states that let citizens register and vote on Election Day. “If those states can do it, I don’t see any reason why we can’t make it work,” Pollina said.