Impacts of Election-Day Voter Registration: Evidence from Rhode Island

Ashmit Vyas, University of Pennsylvania

In 1990, Rhode Island introduced election-day voter registration (EDR) for presidential elections, but not gubernatorial elections, thereby creating an ideal setting for a natural experiment. I estimate the effect of election-day voter registration (EDR) on the turnout and outcome of the 1992 presidential election in Rhode Island by conducting a difference-in-differences analysis against the gubernatorial election. This analysis indicates that the introduction of EDR increased turnout at the 1992 presidential vote in Rhode Island by approximately 6%. However, I find no statistically significant relationship between EDR and the two-party Democrat vote share.

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