Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How Nonprofits Helped America Vote

OMB Watch has released a report, How Nonprofits Helped America Vote: 2008, that demonstrates the continued importance of nonprofit voter engagement in the United States.

The report documents the various ways that nonprofit organizations helped to register, inform, mobilize, and protect voters during the 2008 election season. The report details:

  • Issues surrounding voting rights
  • How nonprofits protected election integrity by recruiting poll workers and helping to implement new voting technologies
  • Tactics nonprofits used to get out the vote
  • Recommendations and electoral resources for nonprofits to help America vote
Download the report by clicking here.

New Report from Election Protection

New report details the dialogues and findings of Election Protections 866 OUR VOTE effort to document voters experiences on and before Election Day in 2008

Election Protection 2008: Helping Voters Today, Modernizing the System for Tomorrow.

2 updates from Demos on EDR

Thanks to the March 26 Electionline newsletter for these updates

Election Day Registration Best Practices: An Implementation Guide - Regina Eaton and Cristina Vasile, Demos, March 2009
In 2008 DÄ“mos surveyed 21 state and local election officials in six states that use Election Day Registration (EDR): Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Questions were asked concerning the administration of EDR, costs, training and recruitment methods, voter education and the integrity of election results. From these interviews Demos developed guidelines on how to best implement EDR, focusing on poll worker recruiting and training, avoiding confusion and congestion at the polls, addressing special populations and preserving the integrity of elections.

Thanks to the March 26 Electionline newsletter for these updates

Voters Win with Election Day Registration – Demos, updated Winter 2009
Reviewing the 2008 general election in the nine states that used some form of Election Day or same day registration - Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Wyoming – Demos finds that these states had seven percent higher turnout than non-EDR states. In total more than 1.1 million voters total registered and cast ballots on Election Day. The report also discusses the benefits of EDR for both voters and election officials including allowing eligible voters who may have been mistakenly purged from the voter rolls to vote, counteracting voter registration deadlines and proving more cost-effective and easier to administer than provisional ballots.

Monday, March 30, 2009

March 30 kicks off Census Address Count

The US Census Bureau has begun its address verification operation of more than 145 million addresses. About 140,000 Census workers will take part in this essential component of ensuring that every household receives a 2010 Census questionnaire. Read more.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Committee on Rules and Administration hears testimonies on voter registration problems

The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration held a hearing March 11th on the problems of voter registration. Among those testifying were Jonah Goldman of the Lawyers Committee, Kristen Clarke of NAACP, Curtis Gans of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate and South Dakota Sec. of State Chris Nelson.

From the testimonies:

"What the butterfly ballots and hanging chads were in 2000, is what voter registration problems are today. " - Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Committee Chair

"The United States voter registration system is wildly outdated and badly in need of modernization." - Jonah Goldman, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law

"In 2008, there were approximately 230 million people of voting age, 212 million eligible to vote, 168 million registered, and 133 million who actually voted. These facts demonstrate the pivotal importance of voter registration." - Stephen Ansolabehere, Harvard University

To read complete testimonies of Senator Schumer and the witnesses, visit the March 11th hearing's page on the Committee's website (Voter Registration: Assessing Current Problems).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hurdles to Voting Persisted in 2008

From the New York Times:
Four million to five million voters did not cast a ballot in the 2008 presidential election because they encountered registration problems or failed to receive absentee ballots, which is roughly the same number of voters who encountered such problems in the 2000 election, according to an academic study to be presented to the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday. (Read more)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Justices, 5-4, Set Limit on Sweep of Voting Law

Only election districts in which minorities make up at least half of the voting-age population are entitled to the protections of a part of the Voting Rights Act that seeks to ensure and preserve minority voting power, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday (NY Times, 3.09.2009).