N. Carolina same-day registration judged big success

Early voting got all the attention, but same-day registration in North Carolina was also a success.

State legislators on the elections law committee said they were proud of the record number of voters who cast ballots at one-stop sites in the weeks leading up to the election, but they were more excited about the early registration numbers.

According to figures compiled by the State Board of Elections, 91,736 North Carolinians registered at early voting centers and another 95,903 reported address changes, under election law changes allowed by a 2007 law.

In the May primary, 22,223 registered to vote and another 70,187 changed addresses.

The changes helped reduce the number of provisional ballots. Under the old system, people who reported address changes during early voting still cast a provisional ballot, while under the new system the voter registration was immediately updated.

For comparison, Wake County alone had about 4,000 provisional ballots this year and 10,915 in 2004, according to legislative analyst Gerry Cohen.

State Rep. Paul Luebke said he expects other states to model North Carolina's early voting system. The only change he suggests is to keep early polling places open longer and standardize hours in future elections.