- GM faces federal investigation for slow recall that led to 13 deaths
- Iran president reaches out to Oman on friendship tour
- FAA’s pre-Malaysia flight warning: 777s have cracking, corrosion issues
- Facebook HQ locked down; employees searched as police field threat
- Glenn Ford free, after serving 30 years for murder he didn’t commit
- Congressman: McAuliffe victory means gun control a winning message
- Clinton aide admits soliciting disgraced D.C. fundraiser; says actions were legal
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- Obama goes shopping at Gap as minimum-wage thanks
- N.J. woman charged after client dies from black-market butt injections
O’Malley promotes same-day registering and voting in Maryland
Says it enhances overall turnout
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is proposing legislation this year that would allow residents to register to vote and cast their ballots on the same day, as he looks to join other Democratic-leaning states that are expanding voter access as a counterpoint to voter-identification laws passed in more conservative states.
The governor’s proposal would allow residents to register and vote on the same day during early voting, but not on Election Day, and would add Maryland to 12 states and the District which have enacted some form of same-day voter registration.
A change is expected to increase voter turnout and is part of a push by many Democrats, including President Obama, to clear what they say are unnecessary roadblocks in the way of potential voters.
“Same-day voter registration is working in a number of states to boost both registration and turnout,” said Maryland state Sen. Jamin B. “Jamie” Raskin, Montgomery Democrat. “The right to vote is fundamental and we should remove all obstacles to registration and voting that thwart people’s ability to exercise their basic right as citizens.”
Maryland, California and Connecticut, all blue states, are the most recent to push for same-day voter registration, but the practice is allowed in states across the political spectrum.
The District, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming all allow qualified voters to register and cast ballots on Election Day. California and Connecticut passed same-day registration laws last year but they have yet to take effect.
North Carolina and Ohio allow same-day voting only during the early voting period that precedes Election Day.
Studies have shown that states with same-day registration typically have higher voter turnout. A study by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board found that 15 percent of its voters in the 2008 general election registered to vote at their polling place on Election Day.
Democrats in some states have pursued same-day voting as a way to open up the process, and also have called for additional polling places and voting machines to accommodate large crowds that they believe act as a deterrent for voters.
In his inauguration address on Monday, Mr. Obama called the issue a civil rights obstacle.
“Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote,” he said.
Opponents of measures to expand polling places and make voting more accessible argue that doing so brings added costs and less security, and that while the Constitution guarantees a right to vote, it does not guarantee a right to absolute convenience at the expense of other concerns.
Republicans have looked to overturn same-day registration in some states, on grounds that it overburdens poll workers and is vulnerable to registration at multiple polling places.
There were calls last fall by Wisconsin Republicans, including Gov. Scott Walker, to end same-day registration, but Mr. Walker backed off the issue last month after a Government Accountability Board report said it could cost $5.2 million to get rid of same-day voting.
Such a change would have required the state to begin offering residents a chance to register to vote when renewing their driver’s licenses or applying for government assistance — a policy that is required of states that don’t have same-day voting by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the “motor-voter” act.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Hill joined The Washington Times in February 2011 as a Maryland political reporter. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Md. drivers could face eventual doubling of gas tax
- Federal appeals court restores Maryland's concealed carry law
- Md. bill would end student suspensions for mimicking gun behavior
- Maryland Senate passes bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana
- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell assailed on transportation
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- Inside the Beltway: A new interest in Rahm Emanuel for 2016?
- HURT: John Kerry The ridiculous face of a ridiculous U.S. diplomacy
- David Jolly wins in Florida, GOP keeps swing district seat
- Brennan: Russia 'absolutely' could invade eastern Ukraine
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Search for missing Malaysian airliner widens as mystery deepens
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Obamacare 3 million shy of target with 19 days left to sign up
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again