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> Voter Registration:, Does a single party benefit?
Curmudgeon
post Jul 13 2004, 07:09 PM
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All my life, I have been told, "Register and vote!" I would have been six years old when I first "registered," listened to a group of adults debate the issues in a school assembly, and then "voted" using the actual voting booths the adults would later use. It was practical education on how to live in a democracy. (or as I later learned, a representative democracy, ergo a republic) It was also a practical method for testing that the voting machines were in working order. In other words, I learned this habit at such an early age that I never questioned that part of my role as a citizen was to register and vote.

A peace group meeting that we belong to has a consensus opinion that our best hope to achieve peace in the Middle East and elsewhere is with someone else in The White House. "The best route to defeating Bush is to register more voters." was also a consensus view. There was a training meeting scheduled on where to get training to register voters, and Paladin Elspeth and I took conflicting notes on where and when. After several false starts, we learned this morning that it was held last night.

I logged on to the Internet on the assumption that I would easily find another workshop. I searched for:
QUOTE
"voter registration training" + Michigan

The first link I found had a very discouraging message:
QUOTE
There are currently no events scheduled in Michigan.
Please signup to volunteer in a nearby state.

I found a link to, among other things, Voter registration problems in Nigeria and following a link to "Announcement of weekend-long voter registration training conference in San Luis Obispo" led to a "Get Out The Vote" conference this weekend (8/13/96) for California Medical Marijuana Initiative.

What really prompted this debate question, were a couple of comments:

The first was in a site called, blog for America
QUOTE
Motor Voter hasnít helped us one bitóin fact it has almost single-handedly given republicans this registration advantage.

The second was on a web page, The Myth of the Magical Volunteer Bureaucracy hosted by our local state representative. It is decrying the waste of public funds created by President Clinton's efforts to form an efficient corporate bureaucracy called AmeriCorps. (I didn't say it was an unbiased piece) Among other things in the article, he attacks the concept of public funds being used to register voters:
QUOTE(State Representative ® Pete Hoekstra of Michigan)
So what are these "volunteers" being asked to do on government time?

Nearly every AmeriCorps program includes substantial training in HIV/AIDS, CPR/First Aid, diversity, voter registration, communication and leadership skills. Many programs have included broader courses on sex education, and yet other programs have broadened their voter registration training to include actual voter registration drives and get out the vote campaigns.

(Sorry Pete, if this is what you're fighting, I'll continue to vote against you.)

And then there was a link which, seemed totally irrelevant, but had to be shared, at --twinkle twinkle blah blah blah etc.: April 2004 Archives:
QUOTE(PSA)
I would like to say that I am most heartily sorry for any offense taken by anyone's mother (other than my own, of course).

So, having found a single unsubstantiated remark that Republicans benefit more from motor voter registration, (Is this a valid claim that Democrats are less likely to register when they change their driver's license data?) and a comment from a prominent (locally) Republican that seems to indicate he is opposed to voter registration efforts, I wondered what the nationwide picture was like.

Debate topics:
1) Does a single party benefit from registering voters?
2) As registered Democrat voters, should we encourage non-voters to register? That is, would we be more likely to encourage Republicans to vote?
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Cube Jockey
post Jul 13 2004, 08:42 PM
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1) Does a single party benefit from registering voters?
I would say not necessarily, it depends. I think there are a few scenarios here, some of which are demographic and some of which are situational.

A lot of people don't vote simply because they either don't care about politics, don't think it directly effects their lives or are fed up with politics in general. These people could be impacted by situational scenarios.

In 2004 there is a general anti-Bush sentiment and polls either show the race as a statistical dead heat or with Kerry winning by just a little bit. The logic behind registering voters for this election is that many of those voters would vote for Kerry because they are so fed up with Bush. The opposite might have been true during the Clinton years.

Demographically, the voter group with the lowest registration and turnout percentage is the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups (source from 2000 election). Voters in this age range are generally more inclined to vote for Democratic candidates for a variety of ideological reasons and also because the Republicans could care less about this particular demographic. The same also hold true for some underrepresented minorities.

2) As registered Democrat voters, should we encourage non-voters to register? That is, would we be more likely to encourage Republicans to vote?

I think that we as Democrats should encourage people to register and vote this year. I do not think these people will vote republican because not only would they be situationally inclined to vote Democrat, most voting drives I have seen this year concentrate on the 18 to 24 age group.
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BravesCHAMPS95
post Jul 19 2004, 09:43 PM
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What I have read is that recently more Republicans were being registered. That bothers me and concerns me as a democrat.

Democrats at one point were very large in recruitment of particuarly young college students. That has since changed and now I see on television and in person republican groups at different colleges signing up college students to vote and getting them to register as republican.

My mistake on the one liner.

This post has been edited by BravesCHAMPS95: Jul 19 2004, 10:09 PM
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Cyan
post Jul 19 2004, 09:58 PM
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BravesCHAMPS95. Welcome to the forum. Since you're new, you may not know that one liners are against the Rules and Survival Guide. Please take the time to read these docs.
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njs6
post Aug 1 2004, 04:57 AM
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1) Does a single party benefit from registering voters?
YES!!!!!!!!! US!

Although not nearly as strong as in other countries, statistics do show that party affiliation is positively correlated with socioeconomic class. As one goes up in income so does one's likelihood of being a Republican (yes, I KNOW there are outliers). Second, as income increases, so does the tendency to vote. Third, the lower classes tend to be much more populous, i.e. there are more middle class and poor folk than rich people.

Thus, if more people are registered to vote then more poeple are going to be voting Democrat. If the entire freaking country voted--well, that would be a great thing!

2) As registered Democrat voters, should we encourage non-voters to register? That is, would we be more likely to encourage Republicans to vote?

YES! YES! YES! As Democrats we MUST encourage our fellow Americans to vote and become involved in the political process. Especially among our base constituencies (minority, Jewish, GLBT, etc). It is very important that the Democrats increase voter registration--particularly if we expect to win this election!
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