Same-day registration for voters receives OK

By The DesMoines Register
Published March 28th 2007 in The DesMoines Register
Iowans will be able to register to vote at the polls, instead of having to complete that 10 days before the election.

The Iowa Senate approved House File 653 on a vote of 30-20 Tuesday. The bill now goes to Gov. Chet Culver, whose staff said Tuesday that he will sign the bill into law.

Supporters of the legislation think it will increase participation in Iowa's elections. But critics questioned whether Iowa's election system will be more vulnerable to voter fraud once the change occurs.

Iowans will have to complete a voter registration form, provide proof of residency in their precinct, and prove their identity with a driver's license or other photo identification. Iowans also will have to sign an oath that they have not already voted.

Violators risk a $7,500 fine and prison time.

After the election, county auditors would mail voter-registration cards and would investigate those that are returned because the recipient does not live there.

Seven states now allow same-day voter registration: Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming.