Sussex County Supports Same Day Voter Registration

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Jun 23, 2015 No Comments ›› admin

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On Monday, June 22, 2015, the Executive Committee of the Sussex County Democratic Committee voted unanimously in support of SB 111-Senator Margaret Rose Henry’s bill permitting same-day registration for citizens desiring to vote in Delaware elections.  The Bill also restores voting rights to convicted felons who have served their sentences.

This bill addresses a special concern in Delaware, and certainly in Sussex County.  Current law cuts off voter registration 30 days before an election.  The original purpose of this type of cut off was to allow sufficient time for election boards to prepare for Election Day.  Computers have made preparation of voters’ lists instantaneous.  The fact is that thousands of citizens of voting age move into Delaware every month; half of them into Sussex County.  These people move in too late under current law, and are therefore unable to vote in an election that determines our leadership for the near future.  While one could say “why not vote in their former state of residence”, voting in their former locations would constitute fraud in those jurisdictions.

At the Senate committee hearing on this bill a few weeks ago, State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove testified that she was not aware of any convictions for election fraud in recent years.  The unsupported fear of election fraud is no reason to deny thousands of people the right to vote.  A Senator of the other Party stated a fear that some people (Democrats?) would take advantage of same-day registration and round of busloads of non-voters, take them to the polls, and have them vote to sway Primary and General elections.   My response to that was that “If we had the ability to round up ‘busloads’ of people and take them to the polls, it would be busloads of registered Democrats who stay home in most elections, and not busloads of people whose political beliefs are unknown.”

Same Day Voter registration is in effect in over a dozen states.  The result in those states has not been voter fraud but voter turnout at a higher percentage than those states had before, and higher than in those states without same-day registration.

Government works best when people have faith in their elected officials.  That faith is best served through citizen participation.  Citizen participation is best served by giving access to voting on Election Day to all citizens resident in Delaware who choose to exercise that most basic democratic right.

Mitch Crane, Chair
Sussex County Democratic Committee
302-703-2804    judgemitch@aol.com