Hawaii is making strides toward greater participation in their elections.
In an effort to combat the state’s current low voter turnout and expand access to the ballot box, Governor Neil Abercrombie has signed a bill allowing voters to register at absentee polling places beginning in 2016, paving the way for Election Day registration to begin in 2018.
This is good news for voters – states with same-day voter registration lead the country in turnout. The number of voters at the polls in these states averages ten percent higher than states that haven't incorporated these inclusive measures.
Without an arbitrary registration deadline to hold interested people back, citizens can register on Election Day, when voting is on everyone's mind.
While other states pass restrictive Voter ID laws and similar discriminatory measures that could push interested voters away from the polls, Hawaii is setting an example we'd all do well to follow. By encouraging citizens to express their right to vote and fulfill their civic duty, Hawaii is working toward a more inclusive democracy.