Pennsylvania law does not allow same day voting registration or early voting. Residents who wish to cast a ballot must register to vote at least 30 days in advance of Election Day. Early voting and same day registration give voters more flexibility to vote when it is more convenient for them. Women who shoulder more of the caregiving responsibilities would benefit greatly from having more flexibility for when they can vote. Early voting also can reduce long lines on Election Day, making it easier for mothers to bring their children to the polling location with them. Early voting leads to increased voter participation, especially in otherwise lower turnout elections, where research shows that women are less likely than men to vote.
- Election Day registration significantly boosts voter turnout. In 2012, states with Election Day registration had average turnout of 71.3%, 12.5 points higher than the turnout in states without EDR.
- Sixteen states have implemented or passed legislation to allow for online paperless voter registration.
- Arizona pioneered online registration in 2002 and today over 70% of the state’s voter registrations are performed online.
- In addition to making registration easier for voters, online registration allows Arizona to save money by eliminating data entry and has increased the accuracy of its voter rolls. In 2010, the costs associated with a paper registration were 83 cents while online registration was just 3 cents.
However, legislation has been introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly that would establish and implement procedures for online voter registration and early voting.