In many states today is the last day for the 2012 election to register to vote. According to nola.com, “The deadline applies to voters registering for the first time and to those who want to change their registration information.”
Early voting varies on a state by state basis. You can see what options are available to you by going to the National Conference of State Legislatures website: “Two-thirds of the states–32, plus the District of Columbia–offer some sort of early voting. Early voting allows voters to visit an election official’s office or, in some states, other satellite voting locations, and cast a vote in person without offering an excuse for why the voter is unable to vote on election day.”
In related news voter registration fraud is becoming a hot topic. The Republican Party paid Nathan Sproul’s company, Strategic Allied Consulting, $3 million USD to run all voter registration operations this year in Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia and Nevada. 10 of its employees are being accused of fraudulent voter registration submissions, changing addresses for existing Democratic voters, and deleting new Democratic registrations.There are also allegations of Democratic voter registration fraud by the Hispanic organization, National Council of La Raza/Democracia USA, which is based in Florida.
Other types of voter registration problems are running rampant. Describing a Pew Center article this year, nytimes.com reported :
“The report found that there are about 1.8 million dead people listed as active voters. Some 2.8 million people have active registrations in more than one state. And 12 million registrations have errors serious enough to make it unlikely that mailings based on them will reach voters.
What seems clear is that many people who are eligible to vote and want to do so fail because of flaws in the registration rolls. In 2008, roughly “2.2 million votes were lost because of registration problems,” according to a report from the Voting Technology Project of the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
Attempts at cleaning up the voter registration rolls are controversial, with President Obama’s Department of Justice suing the state of Florida in order to halt Governor Rick Scott’s registration clean-up efforts. Similarly, the idea that voters should have to prove their identity through photo IDs has proven controversial.
Out of those who choose to register to vote for the election only about half of the population historically will vote. So get out, vote, and make your voice heard!