Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Delaware legislators looking to bring same-day voter registration to the state

Delaware Public Media

Delaware could join more than 20 states in making it easier for people to register to vote.


One of a series of bills tackling voting rights filed for the upcoming legislative session looks to modernize voter registration in the First State by allowing people to register the same day as the election.


Primary House sponsor, State Rep. Sherry Dorsey Walker, says voting registration has been on her mind for a while.


“We don’t want to go backwards to a time in this country when people who look like me could not vote, including my own parents and grandparents. You know my father fought for the country but there was a time when he could not vote for who was going to represent him.”


Dorsey Walker says people shouldn’ be disenfranchised because their busy lives cause them to forget registration deadlines.


“To be quite honest in the midst of a pandemic and everything else that happens with life, it is so difficult to remember these voting deadlines.”


Currently, people must register almost a month ahead of election day, which Dorsey Walker says disenfranchises people who would vote if same-day registration were available. 


Senate sponsor, Trey Paradee, calls the system of registering in advance is antiquated, from time when voter rolls were tracked on pen and paper. Computer databases allow poll workers to register people on the spot at an election site.


At least 20 other states allow same day voter registration, and studies suggest it can boostvoter turnout.


Dorsey Walker adds it’ll be easier to convince friends to go and vote, since they won’t have the excuse of not being registered.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
Related Content