Thursday :: May 1, 2008

IN and NC Voter Registration

by eriposte

So the SCOTUS made voting more difficult with their "full steam ahead" on the Indiana voter ID law. What's new? I'm going to reproduce most of Riverdaughter's post. Please take note (emphasis mine):

But seriously, guys, this law hits poor, transient, minority and especially women very hard. There is a little over a week left before the primary and the Clinton crew is going to have to scramble to make sure all of its voters can vote next Tuesday. And while I don’t want Obama to pull out a victory in Indiana, I am very concerned for any minority voters in Indianapolis and other urban centers there. Sometimes, we have to think beyond ourselves. There’s a principle involved here.

Expect challenges at the polls. On the other hand, it’s very likely to spread to other states before the fall. And if that happens, many more Democratic voters may be shut out of the voting booths by poor documentation. Let’s think about how we’re going to solve this problem.

More info:

It’s still possible to vote early in Indiana. If you’re going to encounter a problem, you can find out in advance. Here is a link to Indiana early voting from Hillary’s site.

The Indiana Secretary of State has a site where you can check out what kind of requirements you must meet to vote and what name formats are acceptable. You might want to take a copy of this with you to the poll in case the poll workers give you a hard time.

If you’ve been married/divorced lately, take your official documentation (probably needs that little $5 gold sticker) to the DMV and get your license updated to match your voter’s registration card. Here’s the Indiana DMV page detailing what you need to bring with you. Here is the pdf that tells you all of the acceptable documentation.

Please spread the word and help get voters to the polls next week.

Also, a note on the latest controversy - Women's Voices Women's Vote (WVWV) and their voter registration drive in NC. Let me include Matt Stoller's post (emphasis mine):

Becky Bond of Credo Mobile wrote this explanation of WVWV's activities.  It's a bit sloppily written, but it was a personal email she was gracious enough to let me publish.
tthis is information i know first hand. working assets has funded WVWV since it started in 2004.  we've seen the research and the field plans grow over time.

WVWV is the only voter registration group with two cycles of replicable randomized control studies showing the impact and cost efficiency of their mail and call based voter registration and GOTV work. here are a few things you may not know about WVWV.

1) WVWV doesn't just target unmarried women. they target hispanics and african americans. so it's not surprising at all that they are targeting black voters in n.c. they've done this in partnership with organizations like the NAACP in 2004 and National Council of La Raza more recently. they use their methods and infrastructure from the unmarried women work to get minorities on the roll. for instance, field groups and funders will pay them to do mail-based voter reg on african americans who don't live in the urban core where they can be cost efficiently registered via door knocking and mass site registration (at bus stops for example). so where minority voters may be more geographically dispersed, WVWV is employed to do that registration by mail order.

2) there is always a spike in voter registration around primaries AFTER the registration deadline has passed. this is the best time to register voters. research confirms this.  around primaries people are reminded that they need to register in time for the general. WVWV has done a lot of research in this area. they know when people are most likely to register. unfortunately, what makes sense in registering the largest aggregate number of voters for the general election at the lowest cost is having a confusing effect in the N.C. primary which is hotly contested and very charged.

3) WVWV has done a lot of research on how to layer communications so as to have the greatest registration rate at the lowest cost from its mail in programs. the calls increase the open rate of the envelopes with the voter registration forms. i've seen research they have done looking at volunteer calls before registration packets arrive v. robocalls. also i've seen research on the effect of who the call is from based on the gender and ethnicity of the targeted voter. are calls from a generic voter participation organization the most effective? or from an individual with a name and way of speaking that is similar to the target demographic.

4) WVWV is not a clinton-associated organization. yes john podesta is on the board, but so is mike lux and william mcnary -- both obama people.

WVWV has made big gains in turning out african american men and married hispanic women in the last two years. i think what is a general election strategy which has caused a wrinkle via misunderstanding in a primary context.

More (Chris): I just want to add that if one of the main goals of WVWV is on registering unmarried voters of all types, then WVWV is actually registering a slightly pro-Obama demographic. The composite primary season exit poll, which was compiled just before March 4th, lists umarried voters breaking 50%-45% in favor of Obama. Either Obama still holds a slight lead among this group, or it is basically a tie.

WVWV screwed up by calling some people who were already registered - this is not unusual when you have large databases that sometimes do get dated. They are certainly not a "pro-Clinton" group and they were trying to get more voters registered for the general election (which explains why they were still calling and mailing packets after the deadline for mail-in registrations in NC has passed). Lambert adds:

A conspiracy so vast as to suppress votes by encouraging voters to register was always a little implausible. And now Stoller, as BDB links, demolishes the story completely. Too bad the OFB* don’t have any checks and balances any more; they’ve become their own echo chamber. Sad.

Also see Big Tent Democrat at Talk Left and Digby.

eriposte :: 5:59 AM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!