Same-Day Voter Registration Bill Goes To Del. Governor
Legislation to allow Delawareans to register at the polls to vote on election days is on its way to Governor John Carney.
The Delaware State Senate voted 14-7 Wednesday in favor of House Substitute 1 for House Bill 25 that does away with the previous deadline to register to vote – the fourth Saturday before the date of the election. Sponsors have called the deadline arbitrary.
A voter would be required to show a valid and current government-issued photo ID card or a current document showing name and address, such as a utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck.
“Working families have enough to keep track of without having to remember an arbitrary voter registration deadline weeks before Election Day,” State Senator Trey Paradee, D-Dover said. “We have worked hard to make voting as easy as possible for our neighbors, including the creation of an automatic voter registration system at the DMV and the addition of early voting 10 days before an election. I want to thank my colleagues in the General Assembly for also voting to remove the archaic voter registration deadline.”
“Delaware has operated under an outdated system that sets an arbitrary deadline several weeks before an election to register to vote, which disenfranchises potential voters. Upon missing this deadline, they are unable to cast ballots, even if they meet all other eligibility requirements,” State Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker said. “Election Day registration has existed in several states for decades and is proven to safely and effectively increase voter turnout. I am proud to see Delaware take this critical step forward in removing voting barriers and enfranchising our constituents.”
“This is a huge step forward for voters,” Common Cause Delaware Executive Director Claire Snyder-Hall added. “In a state where 12% of the population moves every year, voter registration will no longer be a barrier to casting our ballots. People who move will no longer face an outdated voter registration blackout period. Voters who discover mistakes on their registration will be able to correct them – and still be able to cast a ballot.”
“No Delawarean should be denied the freedom to vote because they missed an arbitrary and pointless early deadline to register.”