Same-day voter registration – a good idea or trouble waiting to happen?

 Today, the Senate is likely to hear 2HB 91, Voter Registration – Election Day Voter Registration.

This bill is very simple (which, as you recall, is a sure sign that there will be opposition).

It simply says that people can register the day of an election and vote provisionally.

This will NOT substantially increase the burden on the county clerks because the process is ALREADY happening. If you go in to vote and the election judges don’t have your name on the list as a registered voter, you must fill out a voter registration form and vote provisionally. The county clerks must then verify that you are indeed a registered voter. If you are, your vote counts. If not, it doesn’t. Under this bill, the steps all remain the same except your vote would count instead of being tossed.

Let me give you a personal example: My 18 year-old son registered at the GOP caucuses last March. He became a county delegate, in fact. However, his voter registration was never processed. He voted provisionally in the primary and then again in the general and frankly, I don’t know if his votes were counted or thrown out by the county clerk’s office. How much better would it have been to have him fill out another registration form when he voted and know that his vote would actually be entered and counted.

Arguments that busloads of non-registered voters will suddenly show up to register and then vote provisionally are just silly. We allow voter registration at the caucuses. We should allow it the day of voting as well. In fact, we should be doing everything we can to make voting as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.

Don’t you agree?

 

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Comments

  1. jbtalcott says:

    “In fact, we should be doing everything we can to make voting as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.

    Don’t you agree?”

    It seems that your Republican colleagues in states that have a large number of voters who vote for Democratic candidates do not agree—especially in states such as Florida and Ohio to name a few. Every effort was made in this last election to make voting less accessible to large blocks of people who typically vote Democratic.

  2. rmwarnick says:

    A bipartisan, common-sense bill to promote voting in Utah, where voter turnout has been depressed by one-party rule (only 57 percent of voting-age adults cast ballots). It’s a miracle it got as far as it did.

    BTW, the Salt Lake County Clerk elections website can tell you if your ballot was counted. I check to make sure, because I vote by mail.