America is a highly mobile society, with tens of millions of citizens changing their residences every year. Because a voter’s eligibility is based on legal residence, this high mobility rate threatens the ability of eligible voters to cast ballots that count.
Permanent portable registration is an innovation that seeks to address this problem by allowing a voter who moves anywhere within the state where he or she is already registered to update his or her address at the polls and vote.
“Permanent portable voter registration is a simple change that will significantly improve voters’ equal access to the ballot box,” writes Project Vote Election Counsel Michelle Kanter Cohen. “It improves turnout among voters who move, reduces the impact of mobility disparities among historically underrepresented populations, and uses existing resources to make voting easier and more accessible.”
In this new policy paper, Kanter Cohen provides a comprehensive overview of this issue. The paper defines permanent portable registration, discusses its numerous benefits, and suggests best practices when implementing permanent portable registration. In addition, this paper reviews the status of permanent portable registration in the states.