Why the Proposed Constitutional Amendment Would End Same-day Registration:
Currently voters are allowed to register on Election Day and to cast a ballot at the polling place which is counted with the other ballots. However, the proposed amendment requires all voters to be subject to “substantially equivalent eligibility verification”. This would mean that same day registrants could not have a ballot counted until their eligibility had been verified in essentially the same way as pre-registered voters.
Under our current system, when a voter pre-registers to vote their registration information undergoes the following checks:
Check 1. Does this person exist / is the basic information they provided accurate?
(Data match is performed against Division of Vehicle Services database and/or Social Security Administration database)
Check 2. Is the individual serving a felony sentence?
(Data match is performed against the Department of Corrections database; updates are received from Courts database)
Check 3. Is the individual a citizen?
(Data match is performed against data provided by Division of Vehicle Services)
Check 4. Does the voter reside at the address provided?
(Non-forwardable postcard is sent to the address provided on the voter registration application)
Check 5. Has the court revoked the rights of a person under guardianship?
(Updates are received from the Courts database)
Check 6. Has the voter moved?
(Updates are received from United States Postal Service data)
Check 7. Has the voter died?
(Updates are received from the Minnesota Department of Health and from Social Security death information database)
There is simply no way to conduct all of these checks while the voter is standing there. Polling places would have to have access to all the databases listed above AND mail out a postcard in order to meet the proposed eligibility verification requirements. Clearly, this would be impossible. Voters could register at the polls on Election Day, but not cast a vote that would be counted that day. Their vote would have to be provisional and could not be counted before these checks were completed. With over 500,000 same day registrants in presidential election years, the results of every election would be unknown until these votes were counted.
Prepared by the Office of the Secretary of State
For further information, contact Beth Fraser at email@example.com or 651-201-1334
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