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Not Registered to Vote? No Problem

November 4, 2008

Des Moines, IA – Today is Election Day, and even those who have not yet registered may still be able to cast ballots, since recent changes in Iowa law now allow same-day voter registration.

Amy Logsdon with Iowa Citizen Action Network says you can still go to the polls and have your vote count.

"Many people who are concerned that they aren't on the voting rolls don't realize that that doesn't have to keep them home. They can go to their polling places and register right then and there and be able to vote."

Prior to the change in the law, citizens had to register weeks in advance of election day. Logsdon says the new law allows for a more convenient process for those who weren't able to register earlier. She says you just have to bring proof that you live in the precinct and valid identification.

"All you need is your driver's license, your state-issued ID or any other valid IDs. If your photo ID has your old address because you just moved, bring your photo ID and then something that shows your new address - your lease, a paycheck, a phone bill, a utility bill, anything like that."

Logsdon says states that have allowed same-day voter registration for years, like Minnesota and Wisconsin, have higher voter participation rates. She says election day registration removes barriers to participation, especially among people who move more often, such as the young and those with lower incomes.


Dick Layman/Elizabeth Grattan, Public News Service - IA