North Carolina Passes Extended Voter Registration

Bill Eases Registration and Voting Process July 12, 2007 Progressive States Network congratulated the North Carolina Senate today for passing a bill that widens the window for voter registration and allows combined registration and early voting. This extended registration period would be a first of its kind in the South. The bill makes the registration and voting process easier and is expected to increase voter turnout. North Carolina currently ranks 35th nationwide in turnout, averaging only 25% turnout for eligible voters. “North Carolina’s democracy will be stronger because of the passage of this bill,”? said Joel Barkin, Executive Director of the Progressive States Network. North Carolina currently closes the rolls to new registrations three weeks before elections. If signed by the Governor, the bill would allow combined registration and early voting at designated locations until three days before an election. “We encourage the Governor to sign the bill and join the nationwide movement to make voting more accessible for all voters,”? said former Montana State Senator Steve Doherty Co-Chair of the Progressive States Network. Eight states have already changed to some form of extended voter registration, including Iowa earlier this year. Such reforms are being considered in a number of other state legislatures around the country. The Progressive States Network was founded in 2005 to drive public policy debates and change the political landscape in the United States by focusing on attainable and progressive state-level actions. It accomplishes this mission by uniting policy makers with experts and grassroots organizations to provide the combination of efforts needed to advance good policy.