2016 saw more states than ever before use vote centers for early or Election Day voting. In addition to providing a convenient option for voters, vote centers can have the additional benefit of saving money for election officials. They often require an up-front investment in e-pollbooks to ensure that all locations have real-time access to the voter registration list and can require larger locations with different technological needs, however they can also require fewer pollworkers and result in a smoother voting experience for voters.
It’s been a busy few months for the Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR)! We just attended and presented at the NASED and NASS conferences in DC last month and updated the attendees on what we’re working on, and we want to share this information with all of you.
Prior to the November general election, many wondered how negative feelings towards both presidential candidates would impact other races on the ballot, since voters in a presidential election often go to the polls to cast a ballot for president and then drop-off for other races. Drop-off measures the difference in turnout between the race at the top of the ticket, in this case the presidential race, and races further down the ballot, such as a United States Senate race. Drop-off increases the further down the ballot you go, as voter knowledge of and interest in candidates and offices below the state level decreases.
The last 24 hours have seen voter fraud back in the news more than three months after Election Day. There are lots of reports and talking heads out there – including our own David Becker on AC360 – so below I’ve compiled a list of some reliable, nonpartisan reports on voter fraud, as well as reliable resources in the field that can help you sort through the noise and find the truth.
Five things to watch for today.
The outcome of tomorrow's election may be uncertain, but there are five things we already know.
As we reported in September, Facebook outreach to its users contributed to a significant increase in online voter registration activity in the days preceding National Voter Registration Day on September 27. Online registration transactions – both new registrations and updates to existing registrations – appear to have increased more than seven times on average September 23rd (the day Facebook began its outreach) compared to the previous day, with some states seeing as much as a twenty-fold increase.
UPDATED WITH ADDITIONAL DATA AS OF SEPTEMBER 28, 2016
Today, September 27th, is National Voter Registration Day – a day when non-profits, campaigns, and government officials from across the political spectrum join together to encourage everyone to check and update their voter registration, and register to vote if they haven’t already. In just a few years, the organizers of National Voter Registration Day have done a great job of bringing together people who might not agree on many political issues, but are in absolute agreement about one important idea – that our democracy is stronger when more of our citizens participate.
As of today, 32 states and the District of Columbia have online voter registration, and that number is growing. The benefits are well known and well documented: online voter registration is more convenient, more efficient, and more secure than paper, and while it requires an initial modest investment, it saves states money in printing costs and in data entry, almost immediately recouping the costs. The challenge for many states, however, is that field groups have little or no incentive to use online voter registration systems – paper forms allow these groups to collect information on registrants to use for voter outreach and allow them to take credit for the new registrants they bring into the process. So how do we balance everyone’s needs?
We once again find ourselves in the hyper-partisan season of a presidential election, where both sides make claims about the process for political advantage while election professionals find themselves caught in the middle, trying to do a difficult job under intense scrutiny.