LWVUS just published a white paper on the effect of League efforts to “Power the Vote” in the 2012 election. We at LWVBAE reported our local activities, as did many other Leagues, so our work is included in the report on nation-wide efforts and their impact.
Jack Citrin, the Director of the Institute for Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley, and Donald P. Green of Columbia U. worked with LWVUS on a study of what was the best way to tell voters that their states had new, tough ID laws for voting so as to raise turnout. The new report can be downloaded and read.
Power the Vote 2012: How a new initiative launched results for millions of voters
Mobilizing Voters–Our Challenge: Successfully encourage underrepresented communities to turn out. Help voters have a successful experience on Election Day.
Result: More than 200,000 Get-out-the Vote contacts made; 14,000+ national, state, and local news stories featured Leagues’ election-related work; volunteers observed elections and reported challenges. In the final weeks before Election Day, League volunteers worked nationwide to get out the vote. They phone banked and made in-person visits to remind new registrants about voting rules, times and locations. They sent out hundreds of thousands of emails reminding people to vote, where to find their polling places, making sure they had a plan for Election Day, and directing them to information regarding the candidates running for office in their community.
Conclusions: The report ends with some key recommendations for Leagues to work towards for the next election–some we have in California, some we don’t. So there is still work for us to do. Some of the recommendations are that all state should: have online voter reg [done in CA]; permanent and portable statewide voter reg [not yet in CA], expanded early voting and improved polling place management.
More about the Citrin Study: The League also worked to study and dispense effective messaging to voters affected by new voter ID laws. In collaboration with Donald P. Green, Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and Jack Citrin, Heller Professor of Political Science at University of California, Berkeley, the League undertook a project focused on voters in Tennessee and Virginia where new voter identification laws have been adopted since the 2010 elections. The purpose of the project was to explore which types of communication about voter identification requirements effectively raise turnout. The League looks forward to sharing the results of this program in early 2013. [Professor Citrin’s next book, American Identity and the Politics of Multiculturalism, will be published next year by Cambridge University Press.]
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