Voter Registration: Past, Present, and Future
Working Paper No.:  30
Date Published:  2008-11-30

Author(s):

R. Michael Alvarez, California Institute of Technology

Abstract:

The Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project identified problems with voter registration as a pressing problem in the 2000 presidential election; between 1.5 and 3 million votes were lost due to voter registration problems in that election. Voter registration is a central component of the election management process in the United States, and is an important foundation for how elections are administered. There have been two major efforts to reform voter registration practices at the federal level in recent decades, and despite those reforms there are still significant short and long term issues regarding voter registration practices in the United States. These issues include:

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