Same Day Voter Registration: Whom Does It Help; Whom Does It Hurt?
Montana voters will be asked to decide on Legislative Referendum LR-126 on Election Day. The wording of the referendum is as follows, “An act protecting the integrity of Montana Elections by ending late voter registration on the Friday before election day and eliminating election day registration/ ensuring compliance with the National Voter Registration Act; providing that the proposed act be submitted to the qualified electors of Montana at the General Election to be held in November 2014.”
What Am I Missing?
The referendum is saying that instead of voter registration ending at the closing of the polls on Election Day Tuesday, it will end the Friday before Election Day at 5:00 PM. I must be missing something.
So a prospective voter would be able to register on Election Day but for some unknown reason not by the previous Friday? Or, any previous day of the year for that matter.
Have I missed voter signups at Universities across America? Have I missed voter registrations outside Wal-Mart’s everywhere? At nursing homes, hospitals, rehab facilities? The military somehow gets it done and they aren’t even located in the US.
I’m pretty sure you can’t vote after Election Day. That day has a deadline. I guess if you’re unable to make it on Election Day you’re just out of luck.
So why would the elimination of two days make that much difference? Especially when it’s equal to both parties.
Whom Does It Hurt?
According to my Facebook friends this is a Republican plot to keep Democrats from being able to vote. I really need help understanding that.
If the referendum said that only Republicans can register and vote on the same day then I would have a problem. But if there is indeed a hardship, it puts that hardship of both parties equally.
If poor, handicapped, elderly Republicans don’t have an objection then why should anyone else? Why do they make the necessary effort while others can’t be bothered?
Being able to vote in this country is probably one of the easiest things we can do as citizens. Absentee ballots, online registration, registration by mail, there are volunteers that will come to your home and help you register. Voters have some responsibility of their own.
Why Does It Take Hours To Vote?
In the last election there were reports of people waiting in line to vote for hours. How could that be? Unless, everyone in line had to take the time to register for the first time. That would certainly explain the long wait times.
And how many voters that had made the sacrifice to register early just bailed because the wait was too long? Sounds more like hampering the voting system than helping it.
Some Final Thoughts
If the deadline is Friday then people will register by Friday. Elections will be faster. Addresses and info can be assessed more quickly and reported results will be timelier.
No one wants to make voting harder but there needs to be some voter responsibility. Your negligence in not registering slows my voting time unnecessarily.
There is more than enough time for people to register by the Friday before the election. And, there is more than enough help available if you feel you can’t. It’s a month before the election. If you are not registered call the office of voter registration and get the necessary info to vote.