Well, if you don't have any requirement to register with your town when you move... that sort of goes out the window.
Well yeah, thats the part I dont understand really - why you dont have one. It simplifies things a lot.
How does a homeless person register where they live? By definition, they don't live in any fixed place...
They can register at a homeless shelter...
If we were required to register our presence when we moved it would just shift the whole issue to that registration instead of the voter registration and you'd still have the same complaints.
You wouldnt have any of these problematic practices like you've just quoted about ACORN. In fact, since the same registration is used by the municipality, for example, to cash the municipal taxes, they usually find out pretty quickly if it's a fictional person that's registered.
There's always some issues, like with illegal subletters, but nothing like the kind of stuff you hear about from America every time there are elections. It's weird; I mean, you are the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world, and yet the elections process is such a mess...
Even if we had a municiple registration law here I doubt the populace would accept it being used for other purposes. The idea of a database that links everything you do with the government in one system scares the bejeezus out of people. The minute any proposal was made to link your residence registration to the tax system, voter registration, dog licensing, etc... it would die right there.
Here in MA every city/town is required (by law) to conduct an annual census. This is over and above the Federal Census done every 10 years. That system isn't linked to any other system that the town uses with one exception - voter registration DISENROLLMENT. If you don't complete the census you are automatically disenrolled from the eligible voters rolls. Otherwise, it isn't linked to the property tax system or the personal property tax system (which aren't even linked together and they're both tax system!
). None of them are linked to the town public library, the Town Clerk's office or the towns water and electric systems. And, even though the census system will work for getting you disenrolled for the voter rolls, it doens't work in reverse - completing the census with the town does nothing for getting you onto
the voter rolls.
But, as I said earlier, wouldn't this just be changing where the issues show up? If people have to provide proof of where they live and who they are when they register with the town then how is there any more or less of a burden to require proof when they register to vote? Proof is proof. Whether you need it an June (when you move) or October (when you register to vote), you'd still need it. If you don't have any... you are still out of luck.