The Voting News Daily: Will ID laws lower college student vote?, Public Benefit from Online Voter Registration?
It’s a group that can score respectably on the SAT, find its way to classes most days and survive most midterms. But, the young campus crowd is often new to independence and to record-keeping. So how will college students do at democracy? Tougher voter identification laws, some advocacy groups contend, might present new challenges for thousands of college students who want to cast ballots this fall. “There are more obstacles (for student voters),” said Jon Sherman, an attorney with the Atlanta-based Voting Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. “For a demographic that sometimes struggles to get out to the polls, it’s much more challenging.” The size of that challenge will vary from state to state this year. In Tennessee, for example, voters must present a photo ID to vote, but student IDs aren’t considered valid for that purpose. A Texas law — now facing a legal challenge — allows use of a concealed weapons permit as a voter ID, but not a student ID card. Read More
Some feedback on a couple recent blogs showed that I didn’t do such a great job on defining how our OVR work creates public benefit. So let me try again, with thanks to a canny reader who pointed out the subtlety involved. But first, let me restate what our OVR work is: online voter registration assistance technology for NGOs like RockTheVote and government organizations like state and local boards of election. Through our work with RockTheVote, a large and expanding number of good government groups and other NGOs can quickly get an OVR system of their own, without deploying software or operating computers; and some can take advantage of options to largely re-work the appearance of the OVR web application, and/or integrate with mobile clients and social media. We’re also helping drive registrants to the government organizations as well, for those states with a strong online voter registration systems, who have requested that the Rocky OVR system give users the option of registering with the state board of elections. Then, out at the bleeding edge, it is even possible for local or state election officials to piggyback on the OVR system to have their own 100% election-official-managed online voter registration assistance system, with the same look and feel as other county or state web sites, and all without any procurement or deployment. Read More