Brennan Center Lauds Federal Election Day Registration Bill

May 2, 2008

For Immediate Release 

Contact: Tim Bradley or Jonathan Rosen, BerlinRosen Public Affairs (646) 452-5637

Days After Vote-Suppressing Ruling from Supreme Court, Congress Moves to Help Citizens Register and Vote in ‘08

New York—Today the Brennan Center for Justice lauded the Election Day Registration bill introduced by Senators Feingold and Klobuchar, and Representative Ellison, which would allow citizens to register to vote for all federal elections by registering on Election Day at polling places. The bill comes just days after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana's strict voter identification law, which voting rights advocates widely criticized for its potential to disenfranchise thousands and even millions of voters. The Senate bill is co-sponsored by Senators Tester and Harkin.

"The Supreme Court took a step in the wrong direction earlier this week by failing to strike down Indiana's discriminatory voter identification law. We are pleased that today, members of Congress are pointing the country back in the right direction," stated Wendy Weiser, Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "The history of this country is one of expanding the franchise and removing barriers to voting. Instead of erecting obstacles to voting, we should be tearing them down. We applaud Senators Feingold, Klobuchar, Tester, and Harkin and Congressman Ellison for their vision and leadership and for putting the focus where it should be," she stated.

"Election Day Registration is a tried and true way to support and expand voter participation and create secure elections," stated Renée Paradis, Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice. "We are happy to see legislators focus on real solutions to real problems."

"Like many other democracies, we should be moving toward universal registration of all citizens. This is an important step in that direction," continued Paradis.