Friday, May 17, 2013

Webinar Recap: Voter Registration Modernization

Yesterday's webinar, Voter Registration Modernization, is now available. Many thanks to Myrna Pérez from the Brennan Center for Justice for joining us to share her expertise.

Watch the presentation on YouTube. If you subscribe to our channel, you'll be notified whenever new content is posted. You can also download the PowerPoint presentation and the audio portion of the presentation, or browse all of our nonpartisan resources on voter registration.

In addition to voter registration, candidate engagement is an effective way nonprofits can advocate for and engage their communities. Register now for our June 27th webinar, Candidate Engagement; Forums, Appearances and More, featuring MassVOTE's Cheryl Crawford.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Order a Free "Register to Vote" Poster

Nonprofit VOTE's popular "Register to Vote" poster is back, and available in both Spanish and English. Whether you're gearing up for a state election or just want to make voting more visible at your organization, this poster is the perfect tool. 

Voter registration is one way that your organization can encourage year round voter participation. The poster has space to add customized information like a registration deadline or instructions on how to register at your organization or another site. Display it prominently as a visible reminder for your clients, staff, and volunteers to get registered! 

Learn about simple and effective ways to conduct voter registration by browsing all of our nonpartisan voter registration resources. Order a poster today and engage voters at your nonprofit!:

Order a Copy

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thursday: Voter Registration Modernization Webinar

There's still time to register for Thursday's webinar--don't miss out!
Voter Registration Modernization
Thursday May 16th, 2:00-3:00pm Eastern

Over the last few years, a number of states have enacted laws and policies to update their voter registration systems--including innovations like online registration, Election Day Registration, and portable registration. This move toward voter registration modernization, supported by both voters and elections officials, has gained momentum and a number of states have already proposed new legislation in 2013. Join us for a review of voter registration updates and other important voter registration reforms. 

Featured Presenter: Myrna Pérez, Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice. Ms. Pérez works on a variety of voting rights related issues, including redistricting, voter registration list maintenance, and access to the ballot box. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Ms. Pérez was the Civil Rights Fellow at Relman & Dane, a civil rights law firm in Washington, D.C. Ms. Pérez graduated from Columbia Law School in 2003, where she was a Lowenstein Public Interest Fellow. Following law school, Ms. Pérez clerked for the Honorable Anita B. Brody of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and for the Honorable Julio M. Fuentes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Florida Set to Overhaul Elections

It seems Florida will once again be making changes to its election law: the Senate passed HB 7013 that Governor Rick Scott has indicated he will sign.

The bill counteracts much of the 2011 law that truncated early voting, changed provisional ballot rules, and stiffened rules on voter registration. These changes--combined with record turnout and a particularly lengthy ballot--meant that some Floridians waited in line six hours to vote on November 6th. HB 7013 seeks to improve the election experience by:
  • Increasing the number of early voting days and the hours allowed each day. Supervisors of elections must offer at least 64 hours of early voting over the course of 8 days, with a minimum of 8 hours each day, but may offer up to 168 hours over 14 days, with 12 hours each day--allowing once again for the possibility of Souls to the Polls on the Sunday before Election Day.
  • Expanding possible early voting locations. Elections supervisors may now hold early voting at civic centers, convention centers, county commission buildings courthouses, fairgrounds, and government-owned community centers, and government-owned senior centers. Currently, early voting can only be held at supervisors' offices, city halls, or public libraries. 
  • Allowing new county residents to change their addresses at the polls on Election Day and vote by regular ballots rather than provisional ballots. 
  • Allowing absentee voters who forget to sign a ballot to correct their mistake. Thousands of unsigned ballots were invalidated in 2012.
  • Limiting Legislature-proposed amendment ballot summaries to 75 words or less. (The word limit can be exceeded if summaries need to be rewritten because the Supreme Court strikes them down for being misleading.)
If signed by Governor Scott, the law will take effect January 1, 2014 and applying these changes ahead of the next midterm election.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Census Releases New Data on 2012 Election

On Wednesday, the Census Bureau released The Diversifying Electorate--Voting Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2012 (and Other Recent Elections). The report draws on data from the November 2012 Current Population Survey Voting and Registration Supplement.

Among other things, it confirms that for the first time ever, black voters turned out at a higher rate than white voters: 66.2% of eligible black voters participated, compared to 64.1% of non-Hispanic white voters. Increased participation among black voters has been a trend since 1996, with participation rates increasing 13 percentage points since then. The data also shows that:
  • Voting rates increase with age. In 2012, the percentage of eligible adults who voted ranged from 41.2% for 18- to 24-year-olds, to a high of 71.9% for those 65 and older. 
  • Black and non-Hispanic white voters continue to lead in turnout. In 2012, both Hispanic and Asian voters voted at a rate of about 48%, trailing black and non-Hispanic white turnout. 
  • Mobility matters. 11.7% of voters who lived at their current residence for less than one year cited "registration problems" as a reason for not voting--compared to 5.5% of all voters. 
  • The "gender gap" in voting persists. In every presidential election since 1996, women have voted at higher rates than men. In 2012, the spread was about 4 percentage points, and widest among black voters at 9 percentage points. 
Read the full report to learn more about America's diversifying electorate.