Little Known Law Could Boost Youth Voter Registration Before Election, If Action Taken Now

The nation is experiencing one of the greatest mobilization efforts ever seen for a midterm election. And young voters, as a result of their rising turnout rates in recent cycles, are increasingly becoming the target of those efforts. With voter registration deadlines fast approaching in many states, get-out-the-vote groups should take an additional look at the highly mobile college population and take advantage of a little-known federal voter registration law that helps them register to vote.

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Election Day Preparations Reach New Heights, but Will Voters Turn Out?

If there is a checklist for Election Day preparations, policy makers, candidates, and voter registration advocates have covered many bases for 2010: state legislation has moved to improve (or sometimes impede) voting rights; voter registration drives are technologically advancing; and campaign spending is reaching record heights. But, a major component of elections—voter outreach and voter turnout—remains to be seen. If 2008 turnout is an indicator for voter participation in the upcoming major elections, would this be an opportunity for the electorate to finally close its representational gaps?

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Report Shows 2008 Electorate is Most Diverse in Modern History

The 2008 election was the most diverse in modern history, with increases in participation among young people, minorities, unmarried individuals, and other historically underrepresented groups, according to a comprehensive new report by the voting rights group Project Vote. Whether gains by these groups will hold steady in 2010, however, remains to be seen.

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Revamping Voter Registration to Reduce Disparities in the Electorate

Although the 2008 presidential election showcased a more diverse electorate with an increase in voter registration and turnout by historically underrepresented Americans - including youth and minorities - the movement toward a more balanced electorate that represents all citizens is still a work in progress.  Advocates have long maintained--and recently Congress has heard testimony to the fact--that disparities in turnout rates are less an issue of voter apathy, and more related to a severe lack of democratic access for many groups. The growing awareness of this problem has inspired an increased interest among citizens, advocates, legislators, and officials to improve the administration of elections, particularly regarding voter registration.

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Several States Debating Election Day Registration to Expand Access to the Polls

Cross-Posted at Project Vote's Voting Matter's Blog

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

by Erin Ferns

Election Day Registration has been the subject of election reform debates for decades and the year following one of the most historic presidential elections makes no exception. As lawmakers in at least 16 states hope to expand access to voter registration and effectively increase voter participation, skeptics of such reforms raise the fear of voter fraud. Today, 10 states successfully practice Same-Day Registration (either on Election Day or during an early voting period), with above-average turnout rates and no reported problems with voter fraud. For those states considering EDR, the decision to efficiently expand access to democracy should be clear.

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