Del. Lawmakers Look at Voter Registration - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Lawmakers Look at Voter Registration as Gov. Announces Changes

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DOVER, Del.- Delaware lawmakers are looking at making it easier to register to vote in the First State.

A bill introduced Tuesday would allow Election Day registration on primary, special and general elections. Currently, the deadline is the fourth Saturday prior to an Election Day.

"The research shows there is no more effective way to increase voter participation," said Gov. Jack Markell.

Tuesday Markell also announced a change the elections commission is making that will allow people to register to vote fully online.

"Where it exists elsewhere, it's popular with voters, election officials and taxpayers - with voters because it's convenient and with election officials and taxpayers because online is like 95-percent cheaper to process than mail-in."

"We've had online voter registration since 2004," Elaine Manlove, the state election commissioner. "The problem has always been that people had to print, sign and mail it. We have a generation of people who don't even understand print, sign and mail."

State House Minority Leader Danny Short, R-Seaford, said in a statement his caucus believes government should encourage eligible voters to register. It went on to say: "Delaware needs to take great care before making any changes in its electoral system that could potentially undermine the public's faith in the process"

Markell is confident in the proposed new system. And Manlove says it would make a big difference for new voters.

"What happens on Election Day is the rubber meets the road," she said. "People come in. They thought they registered to vote. Or they didn't realize they'd been purged. Then, it's too late. So, the Election Day registration eliminates that problem."

The Election Day voting bill has been assigned to the House Administration Committee. The governor's office says the online registration changes should be in place to be utilized for the 2014 November general election.

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