MACo Wary of Same Day Voter Registration

MACo Policy Associate, Kevin Kinnally, provided testimony in opposition to Senate Bill 423, “Elective Franchise – Registration and Voting at Polling Place,” before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on February 9, 2017.

This bill would empower the General Assembly to pass a law authorizing an individual to register and vote at a polling place on Election Day. Counties are concerned this legislation places a substantial administrative and cost burden onto local Boards of Elections, whose operations are supported by county funding. Without state resources to offset these potentially large costs, the bill represents an unfunded mandate on local governments.

From MACo testimony:

Same-day voter registration, also known as Election Day registration, is meant to extend voting franchise as widely as possible to eligible voters. MACo does not raise policy objections with these goals – county concerns are merely practical and cost-driven.

Under state law, counties have no choice but to fund these costs – competing for limited local funds against education, public safety, roadway maintenance, and other essential public services.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.