WASHINGTON - On National Voter Registration Day, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee with oversight over federal elections, introduced two pieces of legislation to make it easier for Americans to register to vote and to know their registration status. The Same Day Voter Registration Act would require states to offer same day registration at polling locations on Election Day and during early voting. The Stop Automatically Voiding Eligible Voters Off Their Enlisted Rolls in States (SAVE VOTERS) Act would prohibit states from removing people from their voting rolls unless the state has obtained objective, reliable evidence that a voter is ineligible to vote and establishes notification requirements once a voter is removed. These bills were included as part of the Freedom to Vote Act, voting rights legislation led by Senator Klobuchar and supported by all Democratic Senators.
“Our democracy works best when our laws make it easier for people to vote,” said Klobuchar. “By ensuring states offer same day registration at polling locations and preventing states from unjustly purging voters from voting rolls, these bills will remove barriers that keep people from voting and make sure that every American can participate in our democracy.”
The Same Day Voter Registration Act would:
- Require states to offer same day registration at polling locations on Election Day and during any early voting period;
- Require states to offer same day registration at all polling places by the 2026 general election, but create a waiver process to give states until the 2028 general election to comply if earlier compliance would be impracticable.
- Mandate that states have at least one location per 15,000 registered voters with same day registration by the 2024 general election; and
- Ensure that centralized same day registration locations are reasonably located to serve the voting population equitably.
The Same Day Voter Registration Act is cosponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ed Markey (D-MA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Angus King (I-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Tom Carper (D-DE).
The SAVE VOTERS Act would:
- Amend the National Voter Registration Act to prohibit states from removing people from voting rolls unless the state has obtained objective and reliable evidence that a person is ineligible to vote. The legislation would clarify that failure to vote or respond to election mail would not constitute objective and reliable evidence of a voter’s ineligibility to vote;
- Allow election officials to use state records to remove voters who have died or permanently moved out of the state;
- Require election officials to send a notice explaining the grounds for removal within 48 hours of removing voters from the rolls and provide public notice within 48 hours after any general program to remove voters; and
- Revise the voting procedure for a voter who failed to report a change of address by allowing a voter who moved within a state to vote at the polling place of the voter's current address or at a central location in the jurisdiction of the local voter registration office.
The Save Voters Act is cosponsored by Senators Wyden, Markey, Merkley, Warren, Casey, Smith, Van Hollen, Blumenthal, Gillibrand, Sanders, Hirono, Booker, Murphy, Kaine, Menendez, King, and Brown.
Both bills are endorsed by Democracy 21, Transparency International U.S., End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund, Common Cause, Public Citizen, People for the American Way, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, 20/20 Vision DC, Voices for Progress, and League of Women Voters.
As Chairwoman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee with oversight over federal elections, Klobuchar has long been a national leader in the fight to strengthen access to voting.
Last fall, Klobuchar introduced the Freedom to Vote Act, which would set basic national standards to make sure all Americans can cast their ballots in the way that works best for them, regardless of what zip code they live in, including by improving voting access, expanding early-in person voting and voting by mail, and modernizing election systems. All Senate Democrats cosponsored this legislation and voted to advance the bill in January.
In July, she introduced the Register America to Vote Act, cosponsored by Senators Blumenthal, Wyden, Casey, Smith, Warren, Hirono, Booker, Merkley and Patrick Leahy (D-VT). This legislation would require every state to create a system to register all eligible citizens to vote when they turn 18 and ensure all eligible voters are covered by automatic registration through motor vehicle agencies.
In May, she and Warren introduced legislation with Senators Smith, Wyden, Merkley, Sanders, Blumenthal, King, Booker, Feinstein, and Alex Padilla (D-CA) to provide federal resources to support states in administering elections and improve voting access in underserved communities.
In March, Klobuchar successfully urged the Biden administration to prioritize funding for postage-free ballot delivery and election security in its Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposal.
In 2017, Klobuchar first introduced the Register America to Vote Act to ensure that every state develops and implements a secure process to automatically register eligible citizens to vote when they turn 18. The same year, she also introduced legislation with Senators Leahy and Durbin to require states to automatically register eligible voters when they interact with certain state or federal agencies, unless the person declines.