November 3 marks the last day of elections in 2020, but last-minute voters can still register to vote on Tuesday in nearly two dozen states across the country.
Eligible voters in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, Washington State, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia can still register and cast their votes on the same day of the presidential election.
In Alaska and Rhode Island, voters can also register and vote on the same day as the election, but they may only vote in the presidential race.
And in North Dakota, voter registration is not required for personal voting. State residents can simply show up to the polls with a valid ID and proof of residence to cast their vote.
In each of the states listed above, same-day voter registration requires an ID card and proof of residence. In most states, eligible documents include a current driver’s license or identification card. However, in some states, a paycheck or utility bill with an address of choice may be required to prove residence in the state.
While some states have allowed same-day voter registration since the 1970s, including Maine, Minnesota and Wisconsin, about a dozen states have begun implementing this measure in the last decade.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the introduction of same-day voter registration increases voter turnout, with many of the above-mentioned states tending to register a higher number of voters than states with registration deadlines. There is no evidence that same-day registration varies in favor of a political party.
States that allow same-day registration include Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin – three of the many swing states that are expected to determine the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Recent national polls show that Democratic candidate Joe Biden is expected to win the election, but a close race in key swing states – including Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – could affect the outcome of the election.
In 2016, Donald Trump won each of the above states by a mostly narrow margin, bringing in a larger share of the votes in the electoral college than the Democratic-nominated Hillary Clinton.
In the final days of her campaign, the presidential candidates focused on these states, with Trump holding his final rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin and Biden finishing his campaign in Pennsylvania.