Same-day sign up, voting helps

By: - July 25, 2005 5:33 am

Fayetteville Observer

Allowing people to register and vote the same day should increase participation, say interns with Democracy North Carolina.

They surveyed 529 people between ages 18 and 24 and found:

Almost 68 percent of people not registered to vote said they would be more likely to register if they could do it on Election Day.

About 2 percent knew the deadline to register to vote is 25 days before an election.

About 35 percent said that registering to vote is inconvenient.

Juliana Berde, a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, said registration is inconvenient because college students lack the necessary information. Registration also requires students to return to their home counties, she said.

According to the U.S. Census, 310,000 North Carolinians ages 18 to 24 did not register to vote in the 2004 election.

The turnout among 18- to 24-year-olds was 38 percent in the state, slightly below the national average of 42 percent.

Idaho, Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming have same-day registration and voting.

The young adult voter turnout was 56 percent in those states, according to the survey.

Voter fraud is a common fear in changing election laws.

Berde said the interns found no information about increased fraud in the five states as a result of same-day registration and voting.

The group supports a bill in the General Assembly that would designate certain areas of the state to study same-day registration and voting.


The last day to file for municipal elections in Cumberland County this fall is noon on Aug. 5.

The deadline to register to vote for the Oct. 11 primary election in the city is Sept. 16.

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 14.

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066