Thursday, April 28, 2016

Primary fever is moving this way ...

As we come closer to California's June 7 primary, it's time for this unique voter registration video (featuring many friends). It is not to be missed. If you've moved, or changed your name, or aren't sure you are registered, you can do it all online at this link. Don't wait for the last day.

In fact, according to Capitol Weekly, voter registration in California has been soaring for awhile. That's normal in a presidential year, but this expansion has interesting features.

Overall, registration has skyrocketed in the first months of 2016. There have been over 850,000 registrations in the months between January 1 and March 31. This is twice as much as was registered during the same period in 2012. It even exceeds the total new registrations in the months leading up to the 2008 Primary ...

Each time there has been a big primary somewhere else, thousands have flocked to sign up, predominantly Democrats and Latinos. New registrants always skew young, since so many are just coming of voting age in any year. But look at the pattern.
Registration Growth Jan 1 – Mar 31, 2016 Compared to 2012

There are other changes.

... we see an amazing change in the way that voters can be reached by campaigns or pollsters – only one-in-five of the new registrants have a land-line phone number on the file. Yet, more than 50% have an email address – more than double the rate of voters with emails on the current file

Maybe someday campaigns will stop with the phone calls? I'm not holding my breath.

For all the strides California has made in making it easier for residents to register, I still think the requirement itself is ridiculous in this time of big data. Eleven states allow any resident to walk in to a polling place, show some kind of identification, and be checked online by poll workers, and vote on the spot. Not surprisingly, turnout is higher in these states. California has enacted same day registration, but not yet put it into effect. Maybe next election? More likely next year when this round is over ...

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