General Assembly Vote Tracker

HB39 – Same Day Voter Registration

House Bill 39 would essentially eliminate the deadline to register to vote, which is currently the fourth Saturday before an election. Instead, Delawareans could apply to register to vote at a polling place on election day and then cast their ballots. The voter would have to present documents such as photo identification or a copy of a recent utility bill, bank statement, check or another government form or paper to election officials at the polling place when filing out the application.

This bill would apply to presidential primary elections, state primary elections, special elections and general elections. The one thing that this bill does not apply to is changing your party registration at the polling place on the day of the party primary election. So let’s say you are a Republican who has finally seen the light and no longer wants to be part of evil, and they want to change their party registration to Democratic and vote in the Democratic primary in April 2020. Well, they will not be able to do that, since the law will still require you to change your registration three months before the primary election.

I do think that should change too, but I am not for an open primary. I would change the party registration deadline so that it is closer, like one week before the election. But if you are going to vote in a party’s primary, I think there needs to be some kind of effort on your part to become a member of that party. I know independents and unaffliateds are not happy with this because they want the right to remain independent and unaffliated along with the privilege to vote in a party primary. My thought is that if you want to change the party from within (i.e. helping chose better and/or different candidates) then you should be at least a member of that party, even if for a brief week when you hel. Call me stubborn, I don’t care.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states let residents register and vote on election day.

Where is the bill now? House Administration 1/16/19

Democratic Sponsors: Viola, Walsh, Dorsey Walker, Paradee, Sokola, Townsend, Baumbach, Bentz, Bolden, Bush, Chukwuocha, Cooke, Griffith, Heffernan, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn, Mitchell, Osienski, Schwartzkopf, Seigfried, K.Williams

Republican Sponsors:

Yes Votes:

No Votes:

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

5 comments on “HB39 – Same Day Voter Registration

  1. billcortes

    A good change. Agree that folks who want to “change parties” or participate in a cetain party’s primary, need to get involved and be part of it…before being allowed to vote in that party’s primary.

  2. Heading to Socialism

    • Delaware Dem

      By making it easier for people to vote? That’s called democracy. Making it harder for people to vote, which is what you Republicans love to do, heads us towards fascism.

  3. This should be a no-brainer.

  4. cassandram

    New York’s Andrew Cuomo signed a big voting reform bill today that provides New Yorkers with:

    *Early voting

    *Pre-registration for 16 & 17 yr olds

    *Election Day same-day registration

    *No excuse absentee voting

    *Combines state/federal primaries to the same day

    Many congratulations on this one to Empire State Indivisible who have been relentlessly pushing the legislature and Cuomo to get this done. New York used to be one of the more backwards Blue states for voting reform. Now that might be us unless we get this year’s proposed reforms done.

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