Entries in Pew (2)


24 Million Voter Registrations Invalid, Pew Reports

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With nearly 24 million active voter registrations in the U.S. either invalid or inaccurate, eligible voters are falling through the cracks, according to new research from the Pew Center on the States.

“Eligible voters [are] not getting the information they need,” said David Becker, the director of Election Initiatives at the Pew Center. “It’s important that [voter] lists are accurate so that eligible voters can participate. It’s the gateway to our democracy.”

For its report, called ”Inaccurate, Costly and Inefficient,” Pew worked with research institute RTI International and Catalist LLC to examine voter registration lists. A lead researcher told ABC News that the numbers in the report were estimates.

While Catalist maintains a national database of U.S. voter lists, it does work for Democratic and Democrat-affliliated groups.

From Pew’s analysis, Catalist found that not only were 51 million eligible citizens -- more than 24 percent of the eligible population -- unregistered to vote, but that close to two million Americans who had died were still on the books as active voters.

It also found that nearly 2.75 million people were registered in more than one state, and that 12 million records had incorrect addresses or other errors.

Becker attributed these numbers to the fact that people generally had misconceptions about voter registration. He said that 25 percent believed their registration updated automatically when they changed addresses, and that 50 percent didn’t know they could register at Department of Motor Vehicle sites.

“If someone’s moved, their voter registration is not up to date. Mail is going out to the wrong places [or] getting returned,” Becker said. “There are lines at the polls because someone’s name can’t be found,” he said, and voter registration inaccuracy “creates problems all the way down the entire process. It drives up costs.”

Pew found that in 2008, from the county level to the state level, it cost Oregon nearly $10 million -- $4.11 per eligible voter -- to manage voter rolls. In the same year, during a federal election, it cost Canada 35 cents per voter.

“We pay money to maintain a voters list,” Becker said. “It’s costing way too much.”

This year, Pew is working with eight states -- Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware -- to better share data on residents who have moved and died, and identify and confirm eligible voters.

Michael McDonald, an associate professor of politics at George Mason University, said the results of the Pew assessment was “no big surprise.” But he said having states talk was a step in the right direction.

“It’s the next logical step in this progression of creating a more robust way of tracking voter registration,” he said. “We’re identifying problems and correcting them.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Study: Democrats Losing Support of Poor Whites

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- New analysis by Pew Foundation on voter identification finds that “the electorate’s partisan affiliations have shifted significantly since Obama won office nearly three years ago.”

One of the most notable shifts is the GOP gain among white voters, most specifically “the young and poor.”

“A seven-point Democratic advantage among whites under age 30 three years ago has turned into an 11-point GOP advantage today. And a 15-point Democratic advantage among whites earning less than $30,000 annually has swung to a slim four-point Republican edge today.”

The last time that Republicans had this level of support among young white voters was 2002-2004, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

The study also suggests that more voters than ever -- 34 percent -- identify themselves as Independent. Just 28 percent say they are Republican. Another 34 percent say they identify as Democrat.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio