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Research Report

Voter Registration Modernization: Collected Reports and Papers

Published: October 5, 2009

The 2008 election exposed fissures in our outdated voter registration system. Developed in the nineteenth century, the system is ill-equipped to keep pace with twenty-first century political engagement. At the same time, the election sparked an eruption of civic energy. Together, these developments provide a perfect impetus for a long-needed structural upgrade to our voting system.

There is an emerging bipartisan consensus on the best approach to modernization. Experts, election officials, and policy-makers are urging a common-sense, cost-efficient way to update our outmoded, voter-initiated, paper-based registration system. The proposed plan would simplify the registration process and bring as many as 65 million eligible Americans into the electoral process. At the same time, it would ease burdens on election officials and make our voting system less susceptible to fraud and less expensive for taxpayers.