Consider:

  • An estimated three million were turned away or forced to vote provisionally due to a registration problem on Election Day
  • Only 70-75% of US eligible voters are registered. That is the lowest registration rate by far among advanced democracies, almost all of which use a form of automatic voter registration. Even in Iraq registration is not a barrier as voters can fix a registration problem on Election Day and vote
  • 2008 saw many registration problems. On one hand 3rd party nonprofits over zealously turned in duplicate or flawed registrations. On the other, partisan election officials attempted to illegally drop tens of thousands from voter rolls in Colorado, Detroit and other jurisdictions.

Voter registration is necessary to track voters but has no place as a barrier for any eligible citizen to participate in their democracy and vote.

-George Pillsbury, December 2008

George Pillsbury is the Policy and Development Director of the Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network

To learn more about Universal Voter Registration, read the Brennan Center’s recent overview of Universal Voter Registration.

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