Record Voter Turnout Indicates Closing of Electoral Gaps With the Help of Early Vote

Cross-posted at Project Vote's Voting Matters Blog

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

Final election results from the 2008 presidential election reveal that voter turnout was at the "highest level in 40 years." However, the biggest gain cannot just be seen in overall turnout. As Project Vote assessed in a recent report on 2008 voter demographics - now confirmed by other sources - the biggest gain was among minority and young voters. This success signifies a shift towards a more balanced electorate, and may herald election reforms to expand early voting and voter registration opportunities.

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Lawmakers Target Individual Voters, While Failing to Address Systemic Problems

Cross-posted at Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

Recent analyses of the 2008 general election find that overall participation increased on November 4, with a significant surge in voter participation among historically underrepresented Americans. Yet, while some lawmakers have been inspired by the recent voter turnout to propose election reforms that expand access to voting rights, others continue to focus on creating additional barriers to voting.

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Exit Poll Analysis Suggests Obama Victory Due to Surge in Youth and Minority Voting

The United States saw dramatic increases in voting from traditionally underrepresented groups, including minorities and young voters, according to a new analysis released this week by Project Vote. If borne out by systematic analysis of the voter rolls, this change in the electorate is evidence of the power of successful voter registration drives and an indication of the strong inclination of voters to participate in the process when candidates address their issues.

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Blumner: "Universal Voter Registration Needs to Be Tried"

Following the historic 2008 election and the plethora of problems with voter registrations - from partisan cries of voter fraud by third party registration drives to voter suppression from bad list maintenance procedures - syndicated columnist Robyn Blumner offers a solution: Universal Voter Registration.

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After 2008 Election, Some States Want to Make Voting Easier; Others Determined to Make it Harder

Cross-posted at Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

By Erin Ferns

Following an historic turnout in the 2008 election comes a flurry of election reform agendas from both sides of the battle over voting rights. Since November 4, some state lawmakers have seized on the success of early voting and Election Day Registration (EDR) as models for facilitating voter registration, while others appear to have been threatened by the heightened turnout and inspired to introduce restrictive voter ID and proof-of-citizenship bills for the 2009 legislative session.

Following what appears to be significant progress this year in closing participation gaps among historically underrepresented young and minority voters, we review Election Day stories in states with voter ID and EDR laws, and preview next year's legislative battle for election reform.

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