Lawmakers Push for National Same-Day Registration

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There has been bad news on voting rights lately, so this is particularly welcome:

Minnesota and Wisconsin lawmakers are seeking legislation that would require states to let people register to vote on the same day that a federal election is held.

Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, along with Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, plan to introduce the bill on Thursday. The lawmakers, all Democrats, say that same-day registration will encourage more people to vote.

Here’s Feingold’s comment:

“Election Day registration has worked well in Wisconsin for more than 30 years and is a major reason why Wisconsin is a national leader in voter turnout. By allowing people to register in person on Election Day, we can bring more people into the process, which only strengthens our democracy.”

This will probably go nowhere in Congress, for obvious reasons: every time voting gets easier, more young voters, minority voters, and low-income voters turn out. And that means more Democratic votes, something Republicans will find all sorts of phony reasons to reject.

In a more perfect country we would do everything we could to get as many people involved as possible, regardless of age, race, or income. That means we would vote on weekends, over the course of a week, or on a national holiday. Registration would be allowed at the polling site. Absentee voting would be allowed without cause. And maybe, just maybe, we’d be able to vote online.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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