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Daily News editorial

Editor’s note: Today’s editorial originally appeared in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. Editorial content from other publications and authors is provided to give readers a sampling of regional and national opinion and does not necessarily reflect positions endorsed by the Editorial Board of The Daily News.

This summer’s local primary election — like the weather — is heating up. And it’s getting interesting.

The 18-day voting period began last week and it ends Aug. 6. As the days go by, citizens are hearing from candidates at forums and at their homes as the candidates go door to door to garner support in the waning days of the election.

All this electioneering should be ginning up enthusiasm to vote.

It might also spur regret from citizens who have not registered to vote. Not to worry. The state law has changed and this year, for the first time, citizens can register to vote up until 8 p.m. on Election Day and then cast their ballots.

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We urge those who have not registered to vote to do so. Washington state is now one of 21 states with same-day registration. This includes Idaho and Montana, but not Oregon, which requires voters to register at least three weeks in advance. Implementing same-day voter registration will likely present some new, and perhaps unforeseen, challenges. This is why the state has wisely opted to roll out same-day registration for the primary, which historically has a low turnout.

Complicating matters, the state is rolling out a voter-management system software known as VoteWA, designed in part to make sure people can’t commit voter fraud by casting more than one ballot. It’s possible, if not likely, a few technical glitches will occur.

Those problems should be easy to detect and fix.

Again, we urge those who haven’t registered to do so for this election. It will give election officials a real test of the new system and, more importantly, result in greater participation in this election and future elections.

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