As more and more data is analyzed from last November’s election, the impact of the recently-enacted Online Voter Registration (OVR) in California continues to crystallize. Paul Mitchell of Political Data, Inc. (PDI) is one of the most respected number crunchers in the state. He’s a bit like our own Nate Silver, except he specializes in reading the tea leaves after the fact instead of making predictions beforehand. In a recent blog post tied to the annual convening of California Democrats last weekend, Mitchell breaks down the OVR data that likely helped secure Dems their current supermajority.
Mitchell mentions several studies attempting to determine whether the boon of new online registrants (500,000 Democratic ones alone) would have registered anyways without OVR and what the ethnic and socioeconomic breakdown of the new registrants is versus those who registered traditionally.
“For these studies, PDI is the only system in the state that has the information directly from counties on who registered online, and information on the voters ethnicities, voting behavior, distinctions between new registration and re-registrations, and the past election history and socioeconomics of each voter’s neighborhood,” Mitchell writes.
So what did he find when sifting through this wealth of numerical knowledge?
Statewide turnout on November 6 was 73 percent, for new paper registrants within 45 days of the election, it was 80 percent and for new online registrants 34 days prior, it was 85 percent.