Delaware advocates rally for same-day voting bill

 Wilmington City Councilman Darius Brown meets with bill supporters (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

Wilmington City Councilman Darius Brown meets with bill supporters (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

Supporters of a same-day voter registration bill in Delaware are trying to drum up community support as lawmakers prepare to head back to work next week.

House Bill 105, sponsored by Rep. John Viola, D-Newark, passed committee and now community advocacy groups are hoping that a petition in favor of the bill will help make it a top priority this session.

Apryl Walker, state campaign director for Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement, is part of a group that is pounding the pavement across New Castle County to inform the public and to collect signatures for the bill.

“What we’ve found in the city of Wilmington and overall is, Delawareans are overwhelmingly supportive of same-day voter registration. What that means is, folks would be able to register to vote, and vote on Election Day,” Walker said, explaining that her organization collected more than 800 signatures this week.

“This is necessary because it will increase participation for communities of color, young voters, people who move and really all of us who end up in the period of registering to vote and actual Election Day but still need and want to exercise our vote,” she added.

Wilmington City Councilman Darius Brown joined the supporters on the streets of Wilmington on Thursday. He emphasized that it is everyone’s right to vote.

“It’s a part of voter rights and civil rights to allow our constituency throughout the state to allow them to register and vote and be apart of this great democracy that we have,” Brown said.

According to statistics provided by bill supporters, low-income residents and young voters are most likely to take advantage of same-day registration. A dozen other states and the District of Columbia have adopted similar legislation.

The bill would allow same-day voting registration in both primary and general elections.

“Here in the city of Wilmington it’s important to get people involved,” added Brown. “In 2012 we had a great turnout and we want to continue to grow that voter turnout.”

Another rally for same-day voting registration is scheduled for Tuesday in Dover.

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