Why the proposed Constitutional Amendment would end same-day registration
Currently voters are allowed to register and to cast a ballot at the polling place that is counted with the other ballots. However, the proposed amendment requires all voters to be subject to “substantially equivalent eligibility verification”. This would mean that same day registrants could not have a ballot counted until their eligibility had been verified in essentially the same way as pre-registered voters.
Under our current system, when a voter pre-registers to vote their registration information undergoes the following checks:
Check 1. Does this person exist / is the basic information they provided accurate?
(Check against Division of Vehicle Services database and/or Social Security Administration database)
Check 2. Is the individual serving a felony sentence?
(Match against DOC database, updates from Courts database)
Check 3. Is the individual a citizen?
(Match against data provided by DVS)
Check 4. Does the voter reside at the address provided?
(non-forwardable postcard sent)
Check 5. Has the court revoked the rights of a person under guardianship?
(Updates from the Courts database)
Check 6. Has the voter moved?
(Records updated using USPS data)
Check 7. Has the voter died?
(Updates from Department of Health, match with Social Security death information)
There is simply no way to conduct all of these checks while the voter is standing there. Polling places would have to have access to all the data listed above AND mail out a postcard in order for anything close to these same checks to occur. Clearly, this would be impossible. Voters could register at the polls on Election Day, but not cast a vote that would be counted that day. Their vote would have to be provisional and could not be counted before these checks were conducted. With over 500,000 same day registrants in presidential election years, the results of every election wouldn’t be known until these votes were counted.
Prepared by the Office of the Secretary of State
For further information, contact Beth Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-201-1334