In Wisconsin, one in eight ballots–almost a million votes in all–came from voters who registered on Election Day just before voting in three recent statewide elections–November 2008, November 2010, and the June 2012 gubernatorial recall.
The popularity of the law in Wisconsin has remained relatively steady in general elections since 1984, ranging from a rate of 6.5% of all voters in 2002 to nearly 20% in 2006, when 1,500 small towns were required for the first time to register voters.
Election Day Registration allows voters to correct or update information before casting a ballot, provides a remedy for voters who find themselves omitted from the rolls, and accommodates those who decide to participate at the last minute. States that employ some form of same-day registration tend to have higher turnout rates than those without it.
Nevertheless, there have been several unsuccessful attempts to repeal Election Day Registration in Wisconsin by those who claim that it burdens election clerks and increases the risk of voter fraud. However, many clerks support the law and investigations have found no significant fraud problems. One city clerk said she sets up a separate area for registration so it doesn’t slow others who are ready to vote and noted that “We’ve learned how to work with the current laws and we’ve got a pretty streamlined process.”