Senators reintroduce bill to require states to allow people to register to vote on the same day as the election

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jon Tester (D-MT) today renewed their efforts to make voting easier for all Americans. The senators reintroduced the Same Day Registration Act, which would require states to allow people to register to vote for a federal election on the same day as the election. Rep. Keith Ellison has previously introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy, and we should be doing everything we can to foster this right,” Klobuchar said. “Minnesota has a long tradition of same-day registration, which has consistently led us to have some of the highest statewide turnout rates in the nation. Modeled after Minnesota’s successful law, this bill would help ensure that Americans across the country have their voices heard.”

“Montana’s same day voter registration laws should serve as a blueprint for the rest of the nation.  States that continue to deny folks access to the polls on Election Day are fueling voter disenfranchisement,” Tester said.  “Voting is a cornerstone of our democracy and we should make every effort to increase voter participation and allow more folks to have a say in their representation.”

Throughout her time in the Senate, Klobuchar has been fighting to protect voting rights for all Americans. Last year, she chaired a hearing on strategies for improving voters’ access to the polls during which she pushed her Same Day Registration Act. At a separate hearing with the chairs of the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration, she highlighted the need to address long waits at the polls and boost same-day registration. Minnesota has allowed same-day voter registration for many years and has one of the highest voter turnout rates in the country. 

Since 2006, Montana has allowed same day voter registration, and last year Montanans overwhelmingly rejected a ballot referendum that attempted to eliminated same day voter registration.  Tester has long been an advocate to increase voters’ access to the polls, including sponsoring legislation that will better protect voting rights across Indian Country.