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Politics & Government

Same day voter registration bill expected to return to General Assembly

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Delaware Public Media
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Efforts to revive a same-day voter registration bill are underway in Delaware.

A new bill is expected to be introduced in the state Senate in June when lawmakers return from recess.

House lawmakers barely approved a similar bill in 2014 over concerns related to potential voter fraud. It was released from a Senate committee, but was never taken up on the Senate floor.

Some opponents raise questions about potential voter fraud.  Others argue voting is a privilege and those who want to participate should know the regulations surrounding it.

Supporters, like John Flaherty of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, says arbitrarily setting a registration deadline weeks before an election disadvantages those who might’ve just moved to the state or changed districts.

“Everybody is responsible for making sure they are aware of the rules and regulations that are out there, but if we want people to be involved in the democratic process," said Flaherty. "I think we should make it easier rather than putting in road blocks.”

Flaherty adds he believes same day registration  could help to curb voter apathy.

“Most of our primaries have 80-80 percent of the electorate don’t vote, so we’re hoping by making it easier for those who want to register and want to participate and can’t do that because of the arbitrary deadline,” said Flahtery.

32 percent of registered voters made it to the polls last year during the general election compared to seven percent of Democrats and 14 percent of Republicans in the primary.