Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Congratulations to America's Nonprofits! - from the Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network

Congratulations to the entire nonprofit community! You engaged voters across the country at unprecedented levels this year- and America responded by setting turnout records at the local, state and national levels. Now, let’s build on our successes and look forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead!


Support for Jennifer Brunner - by Jocelyn Travis, OhioVOTES

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner worked diligently to prepare our state for the Nov. 4 presidential election by providing clear instructions to the boards of elections and addressing the concerns of citizens, advocate groups and organizations throughout Ohio. Whether fighting litigation that could disenfranchise citizens, educating voters on election processes and/or reaching out to a wide body of interested parties to incorporate ideas from all sources, she put in place the necessary elements for successful elections.

The Plain Dealer's Nov. 2 editorial, which compared Secretary Brunner to former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, is ridiculous. As firsthand witnesses of the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections and on the front lines of election integrity, I can state that there are vast differences between the two secretaries and their administrations. Blackwell chaired a presidential campaign for Ohio in addition to advocating for a ballot issue while serving as the chief election official in the state. Brunner held true to her campaign promise in 2006 not to support any candidate or issue and not to participate in any impropriety that could damage the reputation of an impartial administrator of Ohio elections. In addition, she put great resources into training county election officials, providing uniform instructions to our 88 boards and implementing the most comprehensive plan for standardized poll-worker training and development in the state's history.

The Plain Dealer suggests that a change in the structure of election operations is needed. It seems only logical that we should let the election be the arbiter of Brunner's work and not cast the office in a light that would seek to undermine voter confidence in the election.

Finally, Ohioans overwhelmingly voted in 2005 to keep the secretary of state an elected position that provides the necessary oversight for Ohio elections.

I feel strongly that Secretary Brunner did everything possible to ensure that our election ran smoothly on Nov. 4. Brunner, her staff and our local elections officials proved to the nation that we can have a presidential election that is fair, open and transparent. Confidence has been restored in the vote-counting process.

-Jocelyn Travis

Jocelyn Travis is the Director of OhioVOTES and a member of the Leadership Council for the Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network.

Minnesota Senate Recount: You be the Judge!

Minnesota's close senate race, currently undergoing careful recount, is coming down to a few questionable ballots - view some of the sample challenged ballots on Minnesota Public Radio's website, and cast a vote on what you think the voter's intent was!

Election Day Exit Polls

Looking for exit polls? Visit CNN or the New York Times for national 2008 election results data.

North Carolina's One-Stop Voting Success

North Carolina’s voter turnout grew by 13.5% this year, which owes a large debt to the states new one-stop registration/voting program. The reform was responsible for 50%-75% of votes in participating counties. Read more in NVEN's turnout brief.

The Battle-Back of New Orleans

New Orleans - Despite its massive 50% population decrease in the aftermath Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana’s Orleans Parish managed to increase its relative number of ballots cast by 54% (NVEN's brief). Congratulations, New Orleans!

Urban Ohio Turns Out in 2008

Although statewide numbers are still rolling in, an unofficial victory for urban Ohio: Columbus, historically a lower-than-average turnout area, saw a nearly 5% increase in registered voter turnout in this year, up from 53% in 2004 to 58% in 2008!

17-Year-Olds Gain Primary Election Vote in Connecticut

Connecticut voters passed a ballot measure Nov. 4th allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if they will turn 18 by the general election date. The measure passed by a 2:1 margin, making Connecticut the 19th state to endorse such a proposal. Read more

New on - America Goes to the Polls BRIEF

NVEN has released a brief on voter turnout in the 2008 General Election, a precursor to our biyearly “America Goes to the Polls” report. Download the America Goes to the Polls Brief (2008 General) here.

Election Day Turnout Among Latino and Youth

Increased youth and Latino voter participation on November 4th played an unprecedented large role in deciding the 2008 presidential election. For more on these groups’ influence this year, see updates from the Pew Hispanic Center and CIRCLE.

New York Times' Polling Place Photo Project

Visit the New York Times' Polling Place Photo Project to search for photos from polling places across the country on Election Day by state, city and type!

EAC Chair Endorses Universal Voter Registration

The chair of the Election Assistance Commission made a case for universal voter registration in the New York Times recently, calling its enaction “the single most important thing that Congress can do right now.” She also advocated the requiring of states to provide early voting. Read the article.