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Iowa: legislature adopts Election Day Registration

The Mason City Globe Gazette reports: Voter registration got a lot easier Tuesday as the Iowa Senate passed a bill that allows registration at the polls on Election Day, sending the measure to Gov. Chet Culver for an expected signature.

Also Tuesday, the Senate sent a bill to Culver that requires a paper backup for electronic voting machines.

Support for the Election Day registration bill was split 30-20 along party lines. Democrats said the measure would increase citizen participation, while Republicans warned that an easier process would lead to voter fraud. The current cutoff for registration is 10 days before an election. ...

Demos, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group, issued a report Tuesday that says Iowa would have had 4.9 percent higher turnout in the 2004 general election if Election Day registration had been in place. Iowa set a turnout record in 2004, with more than 1.5 million ballots cast, which was roughly two-thirds of the voting-age population.

The report, written by faculty from New York University and the California Institute of Technology, says a disproportionate share of the new voters will be in the following categories: naturalized citizens, Latinos, African Americans, people ages 18 to 25, and people who have moved within the last six months. -- globegazette.com - Archived News Story

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