On National Voter Registration Day, Wyden, Merkley Co-sponsor Legislation to Make Registering to Vote Easier for All Americans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley
joined with colleagues today on National Voter Registration Day to co-sponsor
two pieces of legislation that would make it easier for Americans to register
to vote and to know their registration status.

The Same Day Voter Registration Act would require
states to offer same-day registration at polling locations on Election Day and
during early voting. The Stop Automatically Voiding Eligible Voters Off
Their Enlisted Rolls in States (SAVE VOTERS) Act
would prohibit states from
removing people from their voting rolls unless the state has obtained
objective, reliable evidence that a voter is ineligible to vote and establishes
notification requirements once a voter is removed. These bills were included as
part of the Freedom to Vote Act, voting rights legislation led by U.S.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and supported by Wyden, Merkley and all Democratic

“A vibrant and
thriving democracy in our country needs a voter registration system that
encourages participation,” Wyden said. “These bills achieve that goal by removing outdated and unjust
roadblocks that limit the opportunities for Americans to cast a ballot for the
candidate of their choice and to weigh in on local and state measures that
directly affect their lives.”  

“Voting is at the
heart of our democracy, yet Americans continue to face voter suppression that
makes it harder for people to engage in the process, especially when it comes
to registering and staying registered to vote,” said Senator Merkley. “Creating same-day registration and
prohibiting the purging of eligible voters will help protect every American’s
opportunity to cast a vote no matter where they live in the country.”

The Same Day Voter Registration Act would: 

  • Require states to offer same day
    registration at polling locations on Election Day and during any early voting
  • Require states to offer same day
    registration at all polling places by the 2026 general election, but create a
    waiver process to give states until the 2028 general election to comply if
    earlier compliance would be impracticable.
  • Mandate that states have at least
    one location per 15,000 registered voters with same day registration by the
    2024 general election; and
  • Ensure that centralized same day
    registration locations are reasonably located to serve the voting population

In addition to Wyden and Merkley, the Same Day Voter
Registration Act
introduced by Klobuchar is cosponsored by Senators Ed
Markey (D-MA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Elizabeth
Warren (D-MA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD),
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Cory
Booker (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA),
Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Angus King (I-ME), and Dianne
Feinstein (D-CA).

The SAVE VOTERS Act would:

  • Amend the National Voter
    Registration Act
    to prohibit states from removing people from voting rolls
    unless the state has obtained objective and reliable evidence that a person is
    ineligible to vote. The legislation would clarify that failure to vote or
    respond to election mail would not constitute objective and reliable evidence
    of a voter’s ineligibility to vote;
  • Allow election officials to use
    state records to remove voters who have died or permanently moved out of the
  • Require election officials to send
    a notice explaining the grounds for removal within 48 hours of removing voters
    from the rolls and provide public notice within 48 hours after any general
    program to remove voters; and
  • Revise the voting procedure for a
    voter who failed to report a change of address by allowing a voter who moved
    within a state to vote at the polling place of the voter’s current address or
    at a central location in the jurisdiction of the local voter registration

In addition to Wyden and Merkley, the Save Voters
introduced by Klobuchar is cosponsored by Markey, Warren, Casey, Smith,
Van Hollen, Blumenthal, Gillibrand, Sanders, Hirono, Booker, Murphy, Kaine,
Menendez, and King.

Both bills are endorsed by Democracy 21, Transparency
International U.S., End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund, Common
Cause, Public Citizen, People for the American Way, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic
Social Justice, 20/20 Vision DC, Voices for Progress, and League of Women