In November 2016, there were more than 224 million citizens over the age of 18 in the United States, yet only around 157 million were registered to vote. Even fewer actually voted. The Sanders Institute, an educational nonprofit co-founded by Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane Sanders, wants to address that issue.

The group has launched a new initiative to increase turnout by raising awareness of the problems with voting registration and encouraging eligible voters to make deadlines. In a blog post, the Sanders Institute writes:

These complicated and varying laws by state mean that extensive research is needed to know when and how you can register to vote in each state. This can be extremely difficult for populations who have little or no access to the internet or time to know who to ask.

Ultimately, this convoluted registration system is decreasing turnout in many areas in the United States. We know this because same-day voter registration has a history of increasing voter turnout and therefore voter participation in our democracy.

A report by Nonprofit Vote looked at voter turnout by state in 2016 and highlighted the states with same-day registration. They found a high correlation between voter turnout and states with same-day registration in 2016.

The  study by Nonprofit Vote has tracked this difference between states that have same-day voter registration and those that do not since 1996,

States with same-day registration have consistently shown higher voter turnout.

​–posted by Emily Wells

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