Most states impose voter registration deadlines before each election, cutting off voting rights for those who fail to register in time. But these dates are established for the convenience of election administrators, not voters. States that allow Election Day registration have suffered no damage to the integrity of their elections. Of the five states with the highest voter turnout in 2012, four allowed Election Day registration. These states are acting to affirm the right of eligible citizens to participate in our democracy.
Some states also have imposed very restrictive rules on voter registration drives. In the months leading up to the 2012 election, Florida imposed such harsh penalties on administrative errors in voter registration drives, that the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote ended regisration efforts in the state. Registration drives led by nonpartisan groups amounted to 20% of voter registrations in 2004. Citizens of color are more likely to register during a voter registration drive than are white citizens. Imposing unreasonable burdens on voter registration drives is an example of 21st century voter suppression.