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Same Day Voter Registration – Bad Idea

I’m all for getting more and more people to vote. But, same day voter registration doesn’t make any sense. If you’re not going to take the time to register to vote before Election Day, how interested are you? You’re not is the simple answer.

Plus, the bill introduced by State Representative Joe Cervantes has one huge problem – the potential for voter fraud. Representative Cervantes tries to allay our concerns with the following:

Unfortunately, the same thinking that opposed access to voting throughout our country’s history is again opposing this effort. Some now claim, as they have in the past, that advances in providing access to working men and women to vote will lead to voter fraud. Factually, this simply isn’t the case. Recent studies of 12 states have shown that the incidence of voter fraud is low.

That being said, this doesn’t preclude the need for continued vigilance in protecting the integrity of elections. My bill provides additional mechanisms to prevent fraud by making voters show a photo ID at time of registration. By enacting same-day registration, we prevent further “gaming” of the electoral system that now occurs with registration at shopping centers, markets and by national organizations intending to influence election outcomes.

It’s worth noting that he says the incidence of fraud is “low” in states that have implemented same day voter registration. He doesn’t say it doesn’t exist. He just says its low. Think about how many times in the last few elections the winner won by less than 200 votes. It happens a lot in New Mexico. If I were the one running, I wouldn’t want low fraud being the deciding factor in whether I won or loss.

Also, something else to consider. We give drivers licenses to people who are not eligible to vote because they are not US citizens. How is same day registration going to take care of that. I was also struck by the fact we need photo ids for same day voting, but not for everyone else. If it is a good deterrent of fraud for same day voting shouldn’t the same apply to everyone else as well?