A voter list may be reliably established through a variety of acceptable methods, including periodic list, continuous list, or civil registry.
- Methods of registration, therefore, may vary from country to country depending on local circumstances, but should always seek to minimize the potential obstacles for the voter to register.
- A voter registration system may be active or passive.
- Countries have adopted a variety of means for registering voters. Active, or affirmative, registration systems require voters themselves to apply for registration at each election. In passive systems, the authorities compile the voter register automatically on the basis of residency, citizen registry or other records. Either type of system is acceptable if it produces a comprehensive, transparent and accurate voter register.
- Eligible voters should be provided with a continuous and accessible voter registration facility.
- Voter registration can take many forms. It can be periodic (e.g. prior to each election), or it can be regular (e.g.) updated once a year or even on a monthly/rolling basis). It can also be individually initiated (people need to go to registration centers), state initiated (officials travel door to door), or state-created/automatic (names are taken from a civil/national identification register.)
- Practice varies between the State responsibility model of registration, through household surveys and visits, and the self-registration model, where the initiative lies with the voter.
- If advance registration of voters is proposed, the process must be carefully constructed to ensure fairness and effectiveness of provisions concerning elector qualifications, residence requirements, election lists and registers, and the means provided for challenging those documents.
- [Voter eligibility]...systems include: (1) no registration…(2) census registration or other national registry…or (3) inscription.
- Voter registration can take many different forms: Periodic (e.g., prior to each election or every five years) or Continuous (all the time); Individual-Initiated (people must go to registration centers), State-Initiated (officials travel door-to-door), or State-Created/Automatic (names are taken from a separate database and no contact is required between people and election officials in order to register); and Compulsory (people must register to vote) or Voluntary (people have the choice to register or not).
- The legal framework may provide that the responsibility to register lies either with the individual -- passive voter registration where the individual voter has the responsibility to approach registration authorities to get herself/himself registered -- or with the state -- active voter registration where the state, the EMB or other authorized body sends its official enumerators from house to house to register votes.
- The actual registration of the electorate can take many forms, or possibly a combination of the following: Emerging democracies often establish a larger number of registration centers and inform eligible voters where to go and register during a specific period. An alternative method is to have registration teams visit homes door to door. The Voters' Register may be derived from the Civil Register if well maintained, and updated through the establishment of Registration Centres.