Same day registration is unneeded

Monday, June 11, 2007

Making the process of voting easier is a worthy goal but it shouldn't be pursued to the point that it results in the need for extra poll workers or results in voter fraud.

During the last legislative session, the legislature approved same-day registration, to take effect Jan. 1. Some auditors say allowing people to register on election day will require more poll workers.

A person registering at the polls must have a photo ID with his or her current address, or a photo ID and something that confirms the current address, such as a utility bill. Currently, there are not safeguards in place that would prevent an absentee voter from voting a second time at a new location, although it is doubtful that this would occur more than rarely, if ever, since voter fraud is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $7,500 fine.

Still, what is gained by same day registration that is worth the extra expense and the possibility of voter fraud?

Studies show that same day registration increases voter turnout by about 10 percent. This means that we get 10 percent more voters who will be the least motivates and therefore likely the least informed voters.

We can't understand the overriding goal of increasing the number of bodies at the polls to the point of encouraging participation of people who are minimally aware of the issues and barely interested in the outcome.

If a person cannot put forth the effort to register before the day of the election, the person doesn't need to vote.