The Same Day Registration Act would markedly improve our nation’s election process.  

By Editorial board March 27, 2013

At a time when governors and state lawmakers are actively working to make it harder for certain demographics to get to the polls on Election Day, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, along with U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, are working to make the voting process easier.

Earlier this month, the two senators introduced the Same Day Registration Act, which would require states to allow people to register to vote for a federal election on Election Day.

While not likely to pass the gridlocked Congress, there is little reason this bill shouldn’t become law. Minnesota, which is one of the few states that allow same-day registration, consistently has a higher voter turnout rate than any other state in the nation.

Minnesota has offered same-day voter registration since 1974, which is the same year the state began requiring voters to register, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State website. The website also reports that more than one out of every two voters in the state has taken advantage of same-day voter registration and the convenience it affords.

So it’s difficult to understand why so few states have followed in Minnesota’s path, though the political strategies used by some to win elections may shed light. Indeed, it’s hardly a revelation that certain candidates at every level of government tend to benefit when voter turnout is low.

However, voter turnout should not be a partisan issue. Increased simplicity and fairness in our voting process should be something supported by all lawmakers regardless of political alliance.

The Same Day Registration Act does this, and we encourage all members of Congress to support it.