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Election Day Voter Registration is Coming

Tucker Ives


Among the bills waiting for the Governor's signature is a measure that will allow Connecticut citizens to register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day.
Currently, you must register to vote at least seven days before an election. The bill which passed the state senate last week would allow citizens to register and cast a ballot on the same day. Unregistered voters would go to a centralized location in their town, register to vote, and then go to their precinct and cast a ballot. Same day registration would be ready for the November 2013 municipal elections.
Critics of the measure say the influx of last minute voters could cause chaos for voting precincts and increase the risk for voter fraud. but Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says new technology has made the risk of voter fraud negligible. Merrill says the measure will increase voter turnout, and make it easier to get involved in the political process. 
"We're estimating that based on evidence in other states, they have between a 7-9% higher turnout," said Merrill. "But I don't think it's just about increased turnout. I really think it's about increased participation in a way of saying to people, 'We want voting to be a good experience. We want you.' And this is really, I think going to improve the system dramatically."
The bill also would allow potential voters to register online starting in 2014. Governor Dannel Malloy is expected to sign the legislation.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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