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05/2/2014 | Fighting for an Inclusive Democracy

Hawaii Passes Same Day Registration, Paves Way for Delaware and More States

Earlier this week, both houses of the Hawaii legislature passed legislation that will create Same-Day Voter Registration, putting the Aloha State on track to become the 13th state in the nation where voters can register and vote in the same day.

The vote was the culmination of a long, multi-year effort. Led by Hawaii Common Cause, the legislative campaign was supported by a number of organizations representing Hawaii voters, including Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE), the Center for Popular Democracy’s state partner organization in Hawaii.

“The Center for Popular Democracy congratulates the people of the Aloha State for taking the next steps toward a more inclusive, popular democracy,” said Katrina Gamble, Director of Civic Engagement and Politics at the Center for Popular Democracy.

“Hawaii’s adoption of Same Day Registration sets out a clear alternative to the voter suppression policies enacted by reactionary legislatures in states like Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas. This will serve as a boon to efforts to expand the electorate across the country,” added Gamble.

“Arcane, outdated voting rules fall most heavily on young people, low-income citizens, and people of color – those with the lowest registration rate. Same Day Registration helps level the playing field for them by offering a major new opportunity to register to vote and participate in elections,” said Steven Carbó, Director of Voting Rights and Democracy Initiatives at the Center for Popular Democracy.

Over half a million eligible citizens didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election in Hawaii. Many were just not registered to vote. Allowing voter registration on Election Day will give citizens a second chance to meet their civic duty and vote.

SDR is a proven means of increasing voter participation. States with SDR led the nation in voter turnout by 10 percentage points in the 2012 presidential election.

CPD is also working closely with our state partner organization in Delaware, Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement, to pass SDR legislation in the First State. Stay tuned for updates.