Do Election Reforms Promote Equal Participation?
Reforms vary, Elizabeth Rigby shows. Some make casting ballots easier for previously registered voters, while others establish a one-stop process. Letting citizens register just before they vote is the best way to expand participation and make elections more equal.
Read Rigby's brief here.
Another SSN brief speaks to the issues Rigby has analyzed. In the state of Maine, Same-Day Voter registration has been the tradition for decades. But after the 2010 elections shifted power in the state toward very conservative Republicans, the Maine legislature and Governor tried to abolish Same-Day Registration. As Rigby's study shows, that would have made future Maine elections less participatory and equal. That was not the end of the story, however. As Amy Fried of the University of Maine explains in an SSN brief, a broad progressive coalition mobilized to force a referendum in which by a large margin the citizens of Maine voted to keep Same-Day Registration.