The Oracle

A Minnesota voter’s guide to same-day registration

Voter turnout for midterm elections has been seeing a rising increase since same-day voting was implemented in 1974 and gives those with busy schedules an opportunity to vote quickly.

On+Nov.+1%2C+voting+propaganda+sprouted+up+around+campus.
On Nov. 1, voting propaganda sprouted up around campus.

On Nov. 1, voting propaganda sprouted up around campus.

Chloe McElmury

Chloe McElmury

On Nov. 1, voting propaganda sprouted up around campus.

Evan Hulick, Reporter

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According to data gathered by the United States Election Project for the 2014 midterm elections, Minnesota’s voter turnout rate exceeded 50 percent, one of the higher voter turnouts in the country. Other states with this as an available voting option saw a similar high voter turnout rates that year. Compared to states without same-day registration, voter turnout in Minnesota and other states with same-day registration is higher on average by almost nine percent.

In Minnesota, any registered polling place is required to have registration available to all voters. Be sure to come with the necessary materials however as some prior information is required.

Proof of residency is the first and most crucial requirement to become an eligible voter on election day. You can show proof of residency multiple ways, most common of which is a valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit, Tribal ID (with name, address, photo and signature), or state ID. In absence of these, other physical documentation such as a receipt for any of the above options or a bill, account or start-of-service statement due or dated within 30 days of the election for the following items:

    • Phone, TV or internet
    • Solid waste, sewer, electric, gas or water
    • Banking or credit card
    • Rent or mortgage

Residential leases, rent agreements, or current student fee statements that are valid through election day are also acceptable documentation for proof of residency.

The second part of registration is a valid photo ID. If you have a valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit, tribal ID (with name, address, photo and signature) or state ID you are already equipped with a photo ID that is printed on the card.

If you have any of the other above documentation as proof of residency, a U.S. Passport, U.S. Military or Veteran ID, Minnesota university, college or technical college ID will be needed to supplement it. A Minnesota high school ID will also be accepted as well.

Other requirements, such as being at least 18 years of age, can be found on various websites such as Vote411.org or the office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.

After filling out the brief voter registration form, you will be all set to vote at the polls.

For voters in Minnesota, same-day registration means that anyone can vote at any time on election day. In years prior same-day registration voters have made up over ten percent of all Minnesota midterm election voters on average according to statistics gathered by the office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.

When talking to Hamline University students about same-day registration , a lot of students said that they were surprised the percentage was not higher.

“It helps me fit in voting with my schedule and I’m surprised more people aren’t taking advantage of it. Ten percent seems a bit low to me,” sophomore Alisha Hayes said.

A few other voices from around the campus had a different take on it though.

“I think same-day registration, while a good thing, doesn’t mean all that much when it comes to getting people to want to vote in the first place,” first-year Jeremy Brown said.

His grievances do offer a fair point to the notion that same-day registration should be easier to access and engage with as a way to participate in the political process.

Still, same-day voter registration helps many midterm elections see higher voter turnout results. It serves voters who don’t have a lot of time in their day to worry about prior registration and allows them to remain politically active.

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A Minnesota voter’s guide to same-day registration