May 5, 2010
A new law in the UK has made a late surge in voter registration possible and at the same time made the task of prognosticators and pollsters trying to predict likely election results much more difficult. This new law set the deadline for voter registration the eleventh day of the campaign. Previously on one could add his or her name to the electoral roll once a general election had officially been called by the Prime Ministers.
This has led to an enormous increase in voter registration across the United Kingdom. Pre-election polling shows the three parties locked in a tight race with no party favored to gain a governing majority. A large pool of new voters can only increase the unpredictability as UK voters go to the polls to choose a new Prime Minister. After 13 years of Labor Party rule it seems likely that change is in the air. It is uncertain what form this change will take. Read the rest of this entry »
September 1, 2008
Courtesy of my colleague and friend in North Carolina, Joyce McCloy, comes this dire warning about a voter registration drive by a group called Women’s Voices Women’s Vote (WVWV) that is wreaking havoc in every state that they are targeting. So far 23 states have borne the brunt of WVWV’s efforts. One state election calls their mailings “purposefully deceptive” and vows to pursue legal means to stop them in that state.
Where does WVWV get their mailing list that they send registration forms to people who have been dead for over 4 years, or to elementary school age children, or to EAC Chair Rosemary Rodriguez? Will WVWV make robo calls again in KY, NC and other states?
There’s no word yet on the NC Atty Gen’s investigation into the April robo calls in NC. Will WVWV confuse voters during North Carolina’s early voting/same day registration period?
The DC non profit “Women’s Voices Women Vote” is at it again confusing voters & burying election officials in unneccesary paperwork. WVWV has even mailed voter registration forms to 6 & 14 yr olds, dead persons, registered voters, even the Chairman of the EAC – the federal agency that overseas elections. One way to disenfranchise voters is to “gum up” the system that enfranchises them. Read the rest of this entry »
July 28, 2008
Overlooked in the discussions of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the bursting of the housing bubble is the plight of these formerly stable homeowners when it comes to being able to vote in the upcoming Presidential election.
The numbers of those who have lost their homes just this year is staggering. Almost a million homes lost in the first six months of this year:
Foreclosures are up 120%. Some 220,000 homes were lost to repossession in the last quarter, and another 739,714 entered foreclosure in the first quarter. That’s one in every 171 American homes involved in what Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson euphemistically calls the “housing correction”…. http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2008/7/28/142127/083 Read the rest of this entry »
July 5, 2008
Much ado is made about the increased participation of the 18-25 demographic in this year’s election but their participation still lags behind that of other age groups. Here are several ways to change election law to make their participation easier.
- Give the office of school guidance counselor in public secondary schools legal status as a designated voter registration agency. That way the voter registration forms can be handed out to students while they are signing up for their class schedule. Then the forms can be sent from the school guidance counselor to the election office. (Louisiana just passed H. 990 to make this happen in that state)
- Allow 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register so that they are automatically registered to vote when they reach their 18th birthday. If high school juniors and seniors get their paperwork completed well in advance they will be ready and able vote when the next election rolls around. (Rhode Island just passed the “Youth Voting Bill,” H 7106 and S 2081and sent it to the governor for signature)
- Allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the General Election to also vote in the Spring Primary Election. This way their voice can be heard during a contested party primary when excitement is high and they are motivated to participate in support of their candidate. Maryland already has made this a part of their election law, largely because of the efforts of a 17-year-old student who wanted to vote for Barack Obama.
- Allow all voters, including high school and college students, to register to vote up until the close of polls on Election Day. Young people are often in transition during the run-up to election day — starting college, moving to a new city, starting a new job — and often do not pay attention to an upcoming election until the deadline for voter registration has passed. A handful of states (Wisconsin, Maine, New Hampshire and Minnesota) already allow Election Day Registration — and report the highest voter turnout numbers in the country coupled with virtually no problems with voter fraud.
- Allow high school juniors and seniors to work at the polls. If students can be appointed as official poll workers two problems can be solved at once — greater involvement by high schoolers in the electoral process — and trained replacements for the current crop of aging poll workers, whose median age is in the 70’s in most jurisdictions. (in Rhode Island, H 7833, which allows high school juniors and seniors to be appointed as election officials, has been sent to the governor for signature)
Rock the Vote, Project Vote and similar voter registration outreach efforts have done outstanding work but are frequently hampered by state election laws. If the five simple changes recommended above were to be enacted in all 50 states, their job would be much easier because they would be filling a much smaller gap and we would not have so much handwringing about the low rate of participation by the 18-25 year old demographic.