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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 15, 2017 02:23 PM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Election Day Registration
I plan to reintroduce legislation amending the Election Code to provide for Election Day Registration (EDR). By implementing an EDR process, eligible persons are able to register and vote on the same day of any primary, municipal or general election by completing a registration card and providing proof of residence.

Fifteen states allow for registration on or before the day of an election: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming, plus the District of Columbia. Advantages include increased voter accessibility and convenience, fewer provisional ballots to be processed, and a reduction in people turned away for not pre-registering properly. Also, by allowing voter registration to continue up to and including election day, voters can take into account the news, debates, advertisements or any other aspects of a candidate’s campaign taking place in that period of time.

Researchers examining causal links in election policies concluded in 2014 that same-day registration can increase voter participation by up to 4 percentage points. The largest election-day registration effects are evident in Minnesota and Wisconsin, which adopted this type of reform in the 1970s and consistently enjoy some of the highest levels of voter turnout among all states.

I invite you to join me as a co-sponsor of this legislation. It is a reintroduction of SB 91 of the previous legislative session. The Co-sponsors included: Costa, Hughes, Fontana, Farnese, Blake, Browne, Brewster, Tartaglione, Teplitz, Wozniak, Williams and Leach.

Introduced as SB282