Registration: An Introduction
America's hearing two different stories, and each has a point.
NOT ENOUGH VOTING...
The US is the only G20 country that puts the burden of registration on citizens. The result: in 2016, the U.S. had a 70% voter registration rate, compared with other advanced democracies, whose rate is in the mid 90s.
It's hard to get registered: citizens face increasingly high documentation bar, and even "free" ID costs $#75-175 in travel, fees and lost work time. Handwriting, disorganization, or sabotage can result in a form not being processed.
It's hard to stay registered, too: voters who move need to re-register, and states purge far too many are erroneously purged using discredited criteria and algorithms.
How do we ensure that ALL eligible voters have a chance to vote, and secure our voter rolls from hacking
that might remove them?
OR TOO MUCH?
1 in 8 American voter registration records are in accurate. Americans move frequently, and most don't alert their former state that they're gone. Many people are registered in two states, a situation that could be exploited.
The Registry of Voters can't easily check to ensure that voters who no longer belong on the rolls are removed.
Paper registrations, due to mistakes or voter confusion, can result in non-citizens being registered. Unlawful voting's rare — weighed against a potential 10-yr sentence, adding one vote to a candidate who won't even represent you is a very high cost/return. Still: why not eliminate this possibility?