Scott Keyes Archive

The Progressive Voting Law That Could Help Trump And Bernie Win Iowa

Scott Keyes Senior Reporter, ThinkProgress

On Monday evening, thousands of Iowans will gather in local caucuses to collectively register their choice for president.

With polls showing both the Democratic and Republican contests still extremely close, the unknown variable is whether insurgent candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) can convince the infrequent voters buoying their campaigns to show up and caucus.

Many analysts consider this a tall order. Infrequent voters have, by definition, a history of reluctance to engage in the political process. And caucusing is an arduous, time-consuming endeavor that significantly dampens voter turnout.

But the Trump and Sanders campaigns’ reliance on new voters could pay off on Monday night because of a simple progressive voting right in Iowa: Election Day voter registration (EDR).

Unlike most states which set an arbitrary registration deadline as much as a month before the election, Iowa is one of 14 states plus Washington DC that have enacted EDR, also known as same-day registration. With EDR, citizens who haven’t previously registered to vote, or who have changed addresses since they last registered, can still cast their vote on Election Day.

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