Tinkering with the way Electoral College votes are allocated is not the only way that lawmakers are considering reforming the electoral process. While the state still has to navigate how it will implement controversial photo identification rules, there are two separate pieces of legislation that would make it easier for voters to register. One measure would allow voters to register online but retain requirement that they do so 30 days before the election. That idea has been supported by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and other Republican leaders. Sen. John Gordner, a Republican from Columbia County, was among the co-sponsors of the legislation in previous sessions. Another measure would allow voters to register on the day of the election.
Eight states, plus the District of Columbia, offer same-day voter registration. A study by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that elections in states with same-day registration averaged voter participation 10 to 17 percent higher than other states.
In Minnesota, election officials have estimated that voters who register on the day of the election represent as much as 5 to 10 percent of those who head to the polls.
The author of Pennsylvania’s proposed same-day voter registration legislation is Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Democrat from Philadelphia.