Update on Durham, NC Absentee v Same Day Register Voting

Following up on yesterday’s post, I managed to get some data for the share of Same Day Registration and Voting during early voting by party (in 2008 from SBOE; 3rd link from top), and the party breakdown of Absentee voting in Durham County, North Carolina (from the 2012 election; received from the Durham Board of Elections by email). I compiled a table below. You can see that people registering as unaffiliated had a similar share of Absentee mail voting in 2012, and same day registration and voting during 2008 (I can’t find this broken down by party of registration for 2012), but that Republicans were much less likely to use same day registration/voting, with Democrats being more likely. Same day registration and voting during the early voting period is now gone. Absentee voting by mail remains. If someone showed an ID as everyone will now have to do, why not allow same day registration and voting? The effect of ending same day registration and voting by party is fairly clear, in Durham County, North Carolina, at least.

Party Share by Absentee Mail & Same Day Register/Vote
Durham County, North Carolina
Mail Same Day
2012 2008
Party N % N %
Dem 2355 46.9 2729 59
Rep 1267 25.3 580 12.5
Una 1381 27.5 1295 28
Liber 13           <1 18           <1
Total 5016 4622

Comments

  1. ProfNickD says

    It could be argued, of course, that the Obama vote totals in both ’08 and ’12 were unjustly enriched from a no-ID policy, if one believes that matching an ID to the vote is an appropriate regulation in a democratic system. The new law, in this view, would correct this “over-vote” for that candidate.

    I’d be interested in knowing whether the presentation of an ID in order to obtain or register a mail-in ballot is a requirement under the new law.

    • James Wimberley says

      “..if one believes that matching an ID to the vote is an appropriate regulation in a democratic system.” If it were, then possession of such ID should be mandatory on all adult citizens, as in most of Europe, and its issue simple and free – unlike passports and driving licenses. Furthermore, in much of Europe the maintenance of an accurate electoral register is a duty of the state; voluntary registration is an undemocratic bar to participation.
      Come on, you know this is not a good faith measure against the imagined voter fraud.

      • ProfNickD says

        A woman (an Obama campaign worker) in Cincinnati was just convicted 2 weeks ago for in-person voter fraud. She got sentenced to 5 years in prison.

        In-person voter fraud remains relatively rare. But not that is not the case with absentee voting. In nearly all local jurisdictions, one may obtain and then proceed to cast an absentee ballot without showing ID. That’s where the real and massive fraud is — if the NC law does not apply to absentee voting then it really won’t have the effect of stopping voter fraud.

        • Cranky Observer says

          I’m curious: does the State of Washington Republican Party filing thousands of false vote challenges, signed “under penalty of perjury” but later found to be entirely spurious and fraudulent, count as “vote fraud” in your taxonomy?

          Cranky

        • Anonymous says

          The Melowese Richardson case? The details – voting in place of her daughter and a coma-ridden relative – make the case sound a little less like proof of a pro-Obama conspiracy on a vast scale. And, of course, she was caught without any voter ID requirements.

  2. Brett Bellmore says

    “If someone showed an ID as everyone will now have to do, why not allow same day registration and voting?”

    Because of a belief representative democracy isn’t enhanced by the votes of people who are so uninterested in the election that they can’t be bothered to register until somebody rounds them up and hauls them to a poll on election day? Because such people probably weren’t following or thinking about the candidates and issues, either, and represent the most ignorant segment of the electorate?

    Or maybe it’s just a matter of separating registration and conducting the election, to space out the work?

    Anyway, why not provide free taxi rides to the polls? Just how far do with have to go in accommodating the marginally motivated voters? And would you have any interest in accommodating them if they trended Republican, instead of Democratic?

    • Cranky Observer says

      = = = Brett Bellmore @ 6:47 am
      Because of a belief representative democracy isn’t enhanced by the votes of people who are so uninterested in the election that they can’t be bothered to register until somebody rounds them up and hauls them to a poll on election day? Because such people probably weren’t following or thinking about the candidates and issues, either, and represent the most ignorant segment of the electorate? = = =

      This limitation is documented in the Constitution exactly where please?

      Cranky

      And here I thought Brett Bellmore was a strict Constitutional originalist.

      • ProfNickD says

        10th Amendment — the power to maintain and carry-out elections, as are all other powers not specifically delegated to the federal government, is held by the state governments.

        The states may therefore create the regulations they see fit to exercise that power, barring those that, in turn, specifically violate the Constitution.

        • Cranky Observer says

          Sorry, no: you first have to establish that Citizens you consider “stupid” and “ignorant” have a lesser right to vote than those who by your definition are the betters, and then work around both the 15th and 24th Amendments. Of course under Roberts the latter may not be so much of a barrier.

          Interesting description of how literacy tests worked in practice: http://www.crmvet.org/info/lithome.htm

          Cranky

          • Brett Bellmore says

            I’m not suggesting they have less right to vote. I’m suggesting we not go out of our way to encourage them to vote. If they’re motivated enough to show up in the right place, and on the right day, they’re probably motivated enough to study the candidates.

      • Barry says

        I once challenged Brett to prove that the Constitution existed (in a thread in which he was playing Mr. Skeptic about President Obama’s citizenship); Brett, of course, didn’t. The man cites it a lot, but has no proof whatsoever that it exists.

    • James Wimberley says

      “Anyway, why not provide free taxi rides to the polls?” In British elections, the parties provide such rides as a matter of course.

  3. Barry says

    Brett: “I’m not suggesting they have less right to vote. I’m suggesting we not go out of our way to encourage them to vote. If they’re motivated enough to show up in the right place, and on the right day, they’re probably motivated enough to study the candidates.”

    Where ‘go out of our way to encourage them to vote’ means to change things so that it’s harder, with the changes being tailored in a partisan manner.