Bills would require states to offer same-day registration, make it harder to purge voter rolls
Two pieces of legislation in the U.S. Senate are aimed at making it easier for Americans to register to vote and to know their registration status.
The Same Day Voter Registration Act would require states to offer same day registration at polling locations on Election Day and during early voting. The Stop Automatically Voiding Eligible Voters Off Their Enlisted Rolls in States (SAVE VOTERS) Act would prohibit states from removing people from their voting rolls unless the state has obtained objective, reliable evidence that a voter is ineligible to vote and establishes notification requirements once a voter is removed.
These bills were led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and have been co-sponsored by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).
“Early voting is easy and convenient, and I’m proud that Virginia makes it so simple for people to cast their ballots ahead of time and not worry about lines on Election Day,” Kaine said, as early voting in the 2022 midterms opened in Virginia on Friday.
“Voting should be fast, secure, and simple, regardless of who you are or who you’re voting for, and I hope that we can pass legislation at the federal level to ensure that’s true across the country,” Kaine said.
The Same Day Voter Registration Act would:
- Require states to offer same day registration at polling locations on Election Day and during any early voting period.
- Require states to offer same day registration at all polling places by the 2026 general election, but create a waiver process to give states until the 2028 general election to comply if earlier compliance would be impracticable.
- Mandate that states have at least one location per 15,000 registered voters with same day registration by the 2024 general election.
- Ensure that centralized same day registration locations are reasonably located to serve the voting population equitably.
The SAVE VOTERS Act would:
- Amend the National Voter Registration Act to prohibit states from removing people from voting rolls unless the state has obtained objective and reliable evidence that a person is ineligible to vote. The legislation would clarify that failure to vote or respond to election mail would not constitute objective and reliable evidence of a voter’s ineligibility to vote.
- Allow election officials to use state records to remove voters who have died or permanently moved out of the state.
- Require election officials to send a notice explaining the grounds for removal within 48 hours of removing voters from the rolls and provide public notice within 48 hours after any general program to remove voters.
- Revise the voting procedure for a voter who failed to report a change of address by allowing a voter who moved within a state to vote at the polling place of the voter’s current address or at a central location in the jurisdiction of the local voter registration office.