A gumbo of early voting in Louisiana

Courtesy of LA Sec’y of State Tom Schedler

Bad metaphor?

Sec’y of State Tom Schedler encourages voters to cast an early ballot:  http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/local/louisiana/2014/11/21/know-early-voting-starts-saturday/19353791/

State Rep. Marcus Hunter claims that the early voting period needs to be extended because of Thanksgiving. http://www.thenewsstar.com/story/news/politics/2014/11/21/early-voting-runoff-election-begins-saturday/19350131/

Landrieu marching in an early voting rally: http://www.ksla.com/story/27459110/landrieu-kicks-off-early-voting-period-by-marching-with-voters

Another rally in Monroe, LA: http://www.myarklamiss.com/story/d/story/la-dems-hold-voting-rally/40289/sejB5OWYdk-ecIwmnLVSVA

Vote shaming gets coverage in electionline

Electionline has a great story on “vote shaming” and how some are reacting to the tactic.  Christopher Mann, Assistant Professor of Communication and Political Science at LSU is prominently quoted in the story and does a good job explaining the academic research the underlies the technique.

EVIC Mountain Edition

Self promotion alert.

Here is a story profiling my distinguished chaired visiting professorship at Appalachian State University.

Proposals for same-day registration during early voting in Texas

A set of companion bills (HB111, SB84) have been introduced in the Texas legislature that would allow for same-day registration during the period of early voting (SB84 looks like it is an attempt to institute same day registration for early and election day voting).

This has always struck me as an easy lift.  At a recent conference, Charles Stewart referred to the “two percent rule,” indicating that most election reforms would result in, at best, a 2% change in turnout.  I agree with Charles except for same day registration; we have lots of evidence that this reform results in a larger and consistently positive boost in turnout.

And since the same day registration occurs during early voting, there is no issue with jurisdictions not having enough time, staff, or resources on election day to make sure the registration is valid.

These may have no chance in the legislature, but it’s nice to see the debates occurring.

Get ready for slower CA counts–ballots now only need be postmarked by election day

A number of changes in California law should result in more ballots being counted because voters have a few more days to return the ballots, and election officials have a few more days to resolve any outstanding issues with signatures.

But this will surely slow the count in California as officials process vote by mail ballots.

New Article: Voter Identification and Partisan Competition

A new article by William D. HicksSeth C. McKee, Mitchell D. Sellers and Daniel A. Smith is available on FirstLook for the Political Research Quarterly.  From the abstract:

We undertake a comprehensive examination of restrictive voter ID legislation in the American states from 2001 through 2012. With a dataset containing approximately one thousand introduced and nearly one hundred adopted voter ID laws, we evaluate the likelihood that a state legislature introduces a restrictive voter ID bill, as well as the likelihood that a state government adopts such a law. Voter ID laws have evolved from a valence issue into a partisan battle, where Republicans defend them as a safeguard against fraud while Democrats indict them as a mechanism of voter suppression. However, voter ID legislation is not uniform across the states; not all Republican-controlled legislatures have pushed for more restrictive voter ID laws. Instead, our findings show it is a combination of partisan control and the electoral context that drives enactment of such measures. While the prevalence of Republican lawmakers strongly and positively influences the adoption of voter ID laws in electorally competitive states, its effect is significantly weaker in electorally uncompetitive states. Republicans preside over an electoral coalition that is declining in size; where elections are competitive, the furtherance of restrictive voter ID laws is a means of maintaining Republican support while curtailing Democratic electoral gains.

The Voting Wars: College Edition in one map

The Voting Wars: College Edition in one map

Hagan / Tillis votes in Watauga County, NC

Hagan / Tillis votes in Watauga County, NC

 

 

 

Jacob Canter and I are working on a longer post summarizing the various and sundry details of the college voting controversy that roiled the Appalachian State University campus, Boone, and Watauga County NC.

A quick map, courtesy of the NY Times, captures the partisan nature of the controversy pretty well.  Three precincts in Boone city proper contain most of the ASU college students.  And these precincts are pockets of blue in a red county.

“HackOregon” website promises to pry the lid off of Oregon campaign finance

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 1.13.31 PM

Image courtesy of ballot.hackoregon.org

A great new site with an unfortunate name, “HackOregon” (message to 20 somethings, not all end users view “hacking” as a positive), provides assorted visualizations of campaign spending in Oregon, using information available from Orestar.

The most revealing thing to me is the fact that ALL the initiative and referendum campaigns rely on substantial donations from out of state donors and from very wealthy individuals.  Nearly every campaign ad I’ve seen this year charges that “outsiders” and “billionaires” are influencing Oregon elections.  Welcome to the post Citizens United / McCutcheon world of campaign finance!

The site could use some improvement in the search mechanism; right now you have to know what (phony) name is being used by many committees in order to search for their spending.  For example, search on “Measure 89″ or “Measure 90″ and you only get one or another of the campaigns.

Very nice visualizations!

USA Today story on the “Didyouvote.org” Facebook app

This story was apparently prompted by an earlier post I made at earlyvoting.net and a FB discussion on the political science interest group, but also news about the Alaska flyer listing voting histories.

The question she asks is whether “shaming” will increase turnout (political scientists know the answer) but even if it does, is this something we want to encourage?  My own unscientific poll of Facebook friends: hell no!

Byline is by Fredreka Schouten, Paul Gronke is quoted about halfway down.

Powerful blog posting on the Montana field experiment

Powerful blog posting by Michelle Michelson about the controversial political science field experiment that sent voter information cards to Montana voters.  She makes some extremely effective points that anyone interested in conducting field experiments should pay attention to.

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