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A Nonprofit Response to Democracy’s Challenge
08/28/16 |
Publication Date: 
Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 01:45

[E]ven the most voter friendly states have very substantial gaps in voter participation between high- and low-income, young and old, and across the lines of race. That’s because voter-friendly policies may make voting “possible,” but they don’t really do anything to make voting “probable.” ...

[P]articipation gaps in large part reflect mobilization gaps—gaps between who is personally contacted about voting and who isn’t. ...

This is where nonprofits can make a big difference. ...

[O]nce contacted by nonprofit staff and volunteers about voting, these prospective voters turned out at higher rates than other registered voters across all demographic groupings. These increases were largest among those least likely to vote. We reach the right people, and when we engage them, we can make a big difference.

Texas withholds details of $2.5M voter ID education effort - Federal judge seals records at state's request
08/27/16 |
Publication Date: 
Saturday, August 27, 2016 - 03:45

More than half of that [$2.5 million] taxpayer money will go toward an advertising campaign, according to court filings. Yet state officials will not say which markets they intend to target with television and radio spots.

As part of its outreach effort, the state will send "digital tool kits" to an estimated 1,800 organizations across Texas to engage local communities on voter education. State officials will not identify those groups. ...

Key to understanding the state's strategy is where and how it plans to distribute voter education materials, including what parts of the state will be the focus, said Brandon Rottinghaus, an associate professor of political science at the University of Houston who specializes in media and public opinion.

Without detailed information showing where the state plans to buy ads, he said, it becomes difficult to know whether regions with a higher density of people likely to be confused by the voter ID requirements are being targeted.

"Blanketing the state with ads about how easy it is to vote and how several new forms of ID can be used at the polls is not helpful," he said, adding that areas such as the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso will require large amounts of advertising. "The real value is the targeted selection of significant markets that are affected."

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

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