Entries in Voter Registration (4)


GOP Fires Their Voter-Registration Firm After Officials Question Forms

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Republicans have fired the firm they had employed to register voters in battleground states.

After Florida election officials said they received faulty voter-registration forms, the Republican National Committee said it had severed ties with Strategic Allied Consulting, a voter-registration firm that was handling GOP registration efforts in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia -- all key swing states in the presidential election.

“We have zero tolerance for any threat to the integrity of elections,” said RNC communications director Sean Spicer. “When we were informed of an alleged incident, we immediately cut all ties to the company.”

Voter fraud has long been a charge conservatives have lodged against Democrats. During the 2008 election cycle, Republicans accused the since-disbanded group ACORN of falsifying forms.

An RNC official downplayed the notion that parting ways with Strategic Allied Consulting will damage the RNC’s registration push, saying the Republican registration effort “was wrapping up anyway” by the time faulty registrations were discovered.

The five states where the dismissed firm was working were the only ones in which the RNC had organized voter-registration efforts, the official said. He described Republicans’ registration push as far more limited than Democrats’.

The firm, recommended by the RNC to state parties, was contracted both by the RNC and by the five state parties, which also have severed ties, according to the RNC. The RNC had been funding the registration efforts.

Competitive Senate races are unfolding in two of the states: ABC News rates Senate contests in Nevada and Virginia as toss-ups. ABC News rates Florida’s Senate race as “leans Democrat,” with Sen. Bill Nelson expected to win re-election.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


How to Register to Vote Before Election Day

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As Election Day, Nov. 6, nears, here is a quick rundown on how U.S. residents can register to vote.

To vote by mail, residents should use the National Mail Voter Registration form. North Dakota, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands don’t accept the form, so residents should contact their local election offices for registration information.

The voter registration form can also be used to update information such as a name or address change or to register with a different political party.

U.S. residents can also apply to register to vote at state election offices, the Department of Motor Vehicles, public assistance offices, armed services recruitment centers, as well as public sites that have been designated as voter registration agencies.

Some states also offer online voter registration but residents should contact their local registration offices for more information.

In August, Google launched its Online Voter Guide, which allows Google users to register to vote. Users can easily access TurboVote from the Google page and register to vote or vote by mail.

In addition, the Federal Voting Assistance Program is available for U.S. citizens living abroad and U.S. uniformed service members and their family members who seek to vote absentee.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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


Democrats’ Voter Registration Portal Part of Obama 2012 Outreach -- Democrats and the Obama campaign are rolling out a new voter registration website as part of an aggressive early effort to help get supporters back to the polls., officially a project of the Democratic National Committee, is intended to offer one-stop-shopping for voters with interactive registration instructions for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

While Democrats have launched similar tools in the past, such as in 2008, an Obama campaign official said the new system features accompanying smartphone and tablet apps, and automated email reminders to help voters follow through.

The website comes as part of a broader campaign to educate voters about new laws in a handful of states that impose stricter voter ID requirements and shorter early voting periods, among other restrictions. Democrats worry the laws, coupled with waning voter enthusiasm, could hurt them in battleground states in 2012.

Obama tapped into 15 million first-time voters in 2008. Since then, Democrats have seen registrations slip in a number of key states.

In Florida, for example, 4.8 million voters registered as Democrats in 2008. As of Aug. 31, just 4.5 million had identified as the same. Meanwhile, Republican registrations have held steady, and the number of unaffiliated voters remains high at 2.2 million.

Another snapshot: in Pennsylvania, officials reported just 4.15 million Democrats registered through May of this year, compared with 4.48 million registered for the presidential election three years ago.

Democrats are working to close those gaps in a bid to keep Obama in the White House.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio