Proponents of same-day voter registration argue it's a cost-effective method proven to increase voter turnout without compromising an election's integrity. Yet critics claim it opens the door for voter fraud and many Republican lawmakers have sought to eliminate it in states across the country. While same-day registration isn't permitted everywhere, there are more than a dozen states currently implementing the process. So, which states allow same-day voter registration?
With same-day voter registration, eligible voters who've failed to register by their state's voter registration deadline can do so in-person on the same day they cast a ballot. Rules for the process vary from state to state. While some states allow for same-day voter registration on both Election Day and during early voting periods, others permit it during only one or the other. Maryland and North Carolina, for example, only allow for same-day registration during early voting periods.
It isn't only unregistered voters who can benefit from same-day registration rules. Registered voters with out of date information such as a new address can also take advantage of same-day voter registration rules to update their info and cast a ballot without risk of nullifying their vote.
Here's where same-day voter registration is possible:
Colorado residents can register to vote in-person at a voter service and polling center on Election Day prior to casting a ballot.
Voters can register to vote or reregister under a new address before casting a ballot on Election Day in Connecticut.
District of Columbia
Same-day voter registration can be done on Election Day at your precinct's polling place or during early voting at your county Board of Elections office.
Those who don't register up to 25 days before an election can register in person on Election Day.
Residents of Illinois can register and vote at their local precinct on Election Day.
With proof of residency and identification, eligible voters can register and cast a ballot on Election Day.
To register and vote on Election Day, residents in Maine should head to the registrar's office.
You'll need to bring proof of residency and identification to your local polling place in Minnesota if you're looking to register to vote and cast a ballot on Election day.
Residents of Montana can register to vote and cast ballots at their local county election office beginning at noon on Election Day.
Those who failed to meet New Hampshire's voter registration deadline, which falls 10 days before the election, can register and vote at the city clerk's office on Election Day.
While Rhode Island doesn't allow same-day voter registration in primaries or local elections, residents who are not registered to vote or who registered after the deadline can register and vote for the president and vice president at their local city or town hall on Election Day.
To take advantage of same-day voter registration in Wisconsin just bring proof of residency and identification to either your local polling place or the municipal clerk's office.
Head to a polling place with proof of residency and identification to complete a voter registration packet on Election Day, enabling you to cast a ballot that same day.
By the time the next presidential election rolls around in 2020 there will likely be a few more names added to the list of states permitting same-day voter registration. California, Hawaii, and Vermont have all enacted same-day voter registration but have yet to implement it. Vermont is expected to implement its one-stop Election Day process in 2017 with Hawaii following in 2018.