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My Ruminations

"All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason."

My ruminations is a blog where I am dedicated to reasoning through the plethora of information that is gathered around the internet.

Walker ending same-day voter registration

Walker Plans on Eliminating Same Day Voter Registration


Governor Walker is advocating ending same day voter registration in Wisconsin. He recently gave a speech at the Ronald Reagan Foundation in California and proposed ending the law that has been in place since 1971.

"States across the country that have same-day registration have real problems because the vast majority of their states have poll workers who are wonderful volunteers, who work 13-hour days and who in most cases are retirees," Walker said during the speech. "It's difficult for them to handle the volume of people who come at the last minute. It'd be much better if registration was done in advance of Election Day. It'd be easier for our clerks to handle that. All that needs to be done."

Wisconsin is one of 8 states that allow voters to register on election day. This allowance partially accounts for Wisconsin’s continuous high voter turnout rate. This year in Milwaukee County alone, 19% of voters registered on November 6th. In 2008, 15% of all voters in the state registered on election day.

Voter turnout in Wisconsin could be dramatically reduced if same day voter registration is revoked. 

There are 8 states in the United States that allows same day voter registration. 5 of those states rank in the top ten states in voter turnout in 2008. The top three states that had the highest voter turnout rate in 2008, all had laws in place that allowed voters to register on election day.

In 2008, Wisconsin ranked 2nd in voter turnout with 72 percent of the eligible voting population voting. Subtracting the 15% of voters that registered on election day would drop the turnout rate to 57%. This would result in Wisconsin being ranked 48th in voter turnout.

So, Wisconsin should not be looking to get rid of same day voter registration, our state should be looking into what problems volunteers are having and what we can do to help ease this supposed burden.  

Well, there actually doesn’t seem to be a huge burden and there have been no issues or complaints issued from volunteers.

The Government Accountability Board "did not receive reports of unusual problems with Election Day Registration for the November 6, 2012 election."

Likewise there have no reports in Wisconsin of election volunteers reporting problems with being able to meet Election Day demand.

In the end, there is no viable reason why same day voter registration should be ended.

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