Same-day voter registration set for N.C.

North Carolina will begin a new, same-day registration program for voters during early voting periods in the fall elections, according to Democracy North Carolina. The new system will allow voters with acceptable identification to fill out a voter registration form and then cast their ballot — on the same day — at their county’s one-stop early voting sites during the October primary and the November general-election period.

The new process makes North Carolina the first state in the South — and one of only nine states altogether — to allow same-day registration. The new law was passed in the recent legislative session, and approval by the U.S. Department of Justice for the election change was received yesterday by the N.C. Board of Elections, according to the DNC report.

Same-day registration will not be available on the actual election days of Oct. 9 (Buncombe County primary) and Nov. 6 (general), but will be restricted to the early voting periods for each of those elections. A July 2007 study indicates the same-day registration could potentially increase voter participation by some 10 percent for young voters and 9 percent for people who have moved in the past six months. Acceptable identification includes an N.C. drivers license, utility bill, bank statement, payroll check or a document from a local, state or federal government agency.

– Nelda Holder, associate editor

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