Psychology and Social Sciences
Election-Day Registration and Voter Turnout


Election-Day Registration and Voter Turnout


Kyle Gruber



Kyle Gruber, PSC 204: Political Statistics
Faculty Mentor: Professor Keyonghi Baek, Political Science

This research examines the impact election-day registration has had on voter turnout in all 50 states from 1980 until 2016, using a cross-sectional time-series research design. There are two goals for this study. The first is to determine whether states with election-day registration see an increase in voter turnout afterward. The second is, what will comparison data regarding voter turnout demonstrate in states with, versus states without, election-day registration. Based on the relevant literature, this research expects to find that election-day registration will increase voter turnout. A groundbreaking study conducted by Rosenstone and Wolfinger (1978) found that registration deadlines decreased voter turnout by 6 to 9 percent. More recently, restricting registration has become one of the most commonly used tactics by state legislatures to suppress voter turnout; however, methods to combat this problem have been sparse. Election-day registration removes registration deadlines entirely. Not only does this research provide timely and relevant analysis on the impact of election-day registration, it uses a systematic research design with an expanded data set of all 50 states between 1980 and 2016. My presentation will include preliminary findings, as well as relevant information about the current state of election-day registration research.

Streaming Media

Publication Date


Election-Day Registration and Voter Turnout