Archive for Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Voter registration soars

There’s a lot of excitement’ for the Nov. 4 election

October 8, 2008


Shannon Craft, left, a Kansas University sophomore from Lawrence, and Kara Hudson, a junior from Wichita, register to vote on Tuesday at the Kansas Union. Voter registration has soared in Douglas County as the Nov. 4 general election approaches.

Shannon Craft, left, a Kansas University sophomore from Lawrence, and Kara Hudson, a junior from Wichita, register to vote on Tuesday at the Kansas Union. Voter registration has soared in Douglas County as the Nov. 4 general election approaches.

Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

Interest in the November general election appears to be at a fever pitch.

And fewer than two weeks from the Kansas registration deadline, election officials expect the number of registered voters to keep climbing. Since the August primary, more than 2,200 new voters have registered here.

"This week, it's exponentially increased," Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said.

Shew expected the county to add another 2,000 or so registered voters to the 79,437 voters on the books as of Tuesday morning.

Democrats now make up the largest voting bloc at 27,357 people, compared with 27,283 independent voters and 23,951 Republicans. The rest are either Libertarian or Reform party voters.

Several groups around the county and at Kansas University have been working to register new voters ahead of the Oct. 20 deadline.

Members of KU's Student Legislative Awareness Board worked Tuesday on Wescoe Beach.

"The excitement's there, and we have to make sure that we're visible and accessible to as many students as possible," said Ryan Lawler, a Bolingbrook, Ill., senior and community affairs director for the Student Senate.

Since July, he and others have helped register about 850 students at residence or scholarship halls, greek houses or around campus.

Members of the League of Women Voters of Lawrence-Douglas County also have registered 103 people since July at several community events.

"There's a lot of excitement over the election, and people have a real desire to participate that they might not have had in the past," said Carrie Lindsey, president for the league.

Douglas County's registration numbers have soared since the 2000 presidential election when 52,838 voters were registered, according to the Kansas Secretary of State's office. The county also had 65,181 people registered for the 2004 general election.

It's possible that increase was due to change in reporting procedures. After 2006, the clerk's office had to include "inactive voters" in the registration number. Inactive voters - which number up to 14 percent in Douglas County, according to Shew - can't legally be taken off the books until after two federal election cycles.

In nearby Leavenworth County, the clerk's office reported about 600 more registered voters this week compared with the tally for the 2004 general election.

Voting dates

The last day to register to be eligible to vote in the general election is Oct. 20. Advance voting begins next Wednesday.

- Tonganoxie Mirror reporter Estuardo Garcia contributed to this report.


fan4kufootball 9 years, 6 months ago

Well this article was about registering college students to vote. I know that most college students (not all) have no clue why they are voting or for what reason they are voting. I vote for rasing the voting age requirement!

Alia Ahmed 9 years, 6 months ago

srj (Anonymous) says: I wonder if we will follow Australia and allow 16 year old to vote?I think it was Austria, not Australia who just moved to give 16 year olds the right to vote.

bad_dog 9 years, 6 months ago

Alia, you might just ask RI where he "unearthed" those facts...

Trobs 9 years, 6 months ago

Won't happen Fan4ku. Vast majority of people I know simply vote along party lines. Why take time and effort to learn about the candidates when you can just blindly follow your party?

Trobs 9 years, 6 months ago

They could be like me. Ashamed to be affiliated with their party anymore.

Alia Ahmed 9 years, 6 months ago

RETICENT_IRREVERENT (Anonymous) says: Yeah, the local ACORN office is registering the 1974 Dolphins football team as voters in Douglas County.Thats what community organizers do.Whereas, the Republicans have a history of trying to disqualify legitimate voters by any means necessary. The truth of the matter is neither side is guiltless. So to be bring up ACORN without mentioning voter suppression is partisan to say the least.

Paul R Getto 9 years, 6 months ago

Good; participation has been too low in recent years.

Alia Ahmed 9 years, 6 months ago

madmike,I'm willing to admit voter suppression and fraud happens in both parties, whereas Republicans think their party would never stoop to that. Give me a break!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 6 months ago

For all the hysteria about ACORN, there's never been a single election that has been affected by the handful of independent contractors who committed voter registration fraud-- fraud that most of the time was detected and reported by ACORN itself. But when the Republican Party and its leaders have nearly destroyed the US Constitution and the world economy, not to mention getting us bogged down in unnecessary wars, I can understand the desire to divert attention from your gross incompetency.

Trobs 9 years, 6 months ago

Douglas county may elect Obama, the rest of Kansas won't. Ron Paul 08!Reticent - did you read the story about ACORN signing up the starting Dallas Cowboy roster in Nevada? Absolute gold.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 6 months ago

" Do you think this is just big bad Republicans just trying to bully minorities? "Only those that tend to vote Democratic.

Steve Jacob 9 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if we will follow Australia and allow 16 year old to vote?

BigDog 9 years, 6 months ago

BigPruneIt is hard to judge how accurate those numbers they give are when you consider ...... few people get purged from the voting rolls even after they die or move out of state.I would ask these election officials what does it take for someone to be removed from the voting rolls.

Trobs 9 years, 6 months ago

16% approval rating in a Democrat controlled Congress bozo. I'm not going to say republicans are doing the right thing either. Both of the major parties are complete screwups. Republicans are no longer the small government, low tax party. Now they are the Neo-cons. World police, big brother, forcing their views on everyone and everything they can. Democrats are no better. They use to be the party of the people. Now they are the party of "ideas". Global warming, social services, personal freedoms. Great ideas about all of them. Poor execution. Lots of money thrown at broken policies. The two major parties need a wakeup call. They need a third party to shock them in the elections. Sadly it won't happen due to the sheople in the world. Too busy with "Dancing With the Stars" or "American Idol". Can't be bothered to take a solid look at their candidate and think, "ya know, maybe this guy is a lot worse then my party makes him out to be."Think whatever you want about my rant. The country is going nowhere and fast. If the past century taught us anything, it's that neither party can get it right. Let's put someone else in power, give someone else the chance and truly bring "Change" to Washington. Someone much wiser then me once said, "Actions speak louder then words." Just remember that when our presidential candidates aren't what they say were going to be.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree that the current system is screwed up, and both parties largely corrupt. We need to revamp our system of government in favor of one that ends the dominance of big money, and allows multiple parties representing the broad range of ideas and philosophies. I'd like to see us adopt a parliamentary system. Given the current state of affairs, I think the best government we could have right now would be a coalition between the Libertarian and Green Parties.

fan4kufootball 9 years, 6 months ago

Registering to vote is great!......BUT do not vote just to vote. Know the platform the candidates are running on, look at their voting history, look at their experience, look at their ability to accomplish the task at hand. Then vote.

cellogrl 9 years, 6 months ago

Okay, random question. Does anyone know why there were Channel 6 news crews by Kasold and Harvard this morning?

tvc 9 years, 6 months ago

Trobs, that means Nader will be getting a lot of votes. Look at all of those independent voters.

BigPrune 9 years, 6 months ago

Douglas County has 112,123 as per 2006 US Census.With the addition of the 2000 extra registered voters, this brings the total to 81,437 registered voters.112,123 - 81,437 = 30,68630,686 - 21,544 (people under 18 years of age -US Census 2006) = 9,142 unregistered voters estimated.These are amazing numbers considering the transient KU population. It's also amazing the percentage of registered voters per overall population is 92%. This compares Douglas County to St. Louis County, Missouri with 93%. Then again, St. Louis County surely has never had any discrepancies in their votes. Just google St Louis County voter fraud. Not that i'm implying anything - I just think it's amazing.

sfjayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

madmike, this election is not going to be close, it will be a landslide.

preebo 9 years, 6 months ago

Great! Now that you, who have made this small step to register, get out there and be counted on Nov. 4th.The true bedrock of Democracy is participation.

Alia Ahmed 9 years, 6 months ago

RETICENT_IRREVERENT (Anonymous) says: I heard somewhere that before the 1988 election, a whole bunch of dead Hawaiians moved to, and registered to vote in Chicago's far South Side.RI, do you have a link or source for this information about the group of dead Hawaiin's moving to Chicago prior to the 1988 election?

Trobs 9 years, 6 months ago

I actually look forward to Obama being a disappointment as president. I am by no means a McCain supporter, but the kind of hero worship Obama has brought onto his supporters is sickening. Open your eyes folks. No one is perfect, not even your savior Barack.

mr_economy 9 years, 6 months ago

The money I donated to Obama's campaign is worth more than a vote for him in this state. The Electoral College may make smaller states like Kansas quasi relevant, but it effectively disenfranchises anyone in the minority in a state.

Trobs 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm voting. I'm not voting for either major party candidate though. Ron Paul 08

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 6 months ago

"I actually look forward to Obama being a disappointment as president."With the mess the next president will be handed, a "disappointing" result (as opposed to a continuing spiraling disaster) would come as a relief."I am by no means a McCain supporter, but the kind of hero worship Obama has brought onto his supporters is sickening."I don't think any great percentage of his supporters can be said to "worship" him. Certainly no greater percentage than Reagan or Bush II early in his regime had. The "worship" and "messiah" routine is just an act of desperation by Republicans who don't want to admit that they and their leaders have dug the country and the world into a very deep hole. (not that they didn't get a lot of help from a good many democrats.)"Open your eyes folks. No one is perfect, not even your savior Barack."If we need one, you'd better hope he is-- cause right now, it's his election to lose (or have stolen from him.)

Alia Ahmed 9 years, 6 months ago

Marion-Well, I certainly believe a story written by the very impartial Michelle Malkin is fair and balanced. She makes Fox News look like left leaning liberals.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 6 months ago

ACORN fiddling voter registrations is nothing new."The Acorn IndictmentsFriday, November 3, 2006 12:01 A.M. ESTSo, less than a week before the midterm elections, four workers from Acorn, the liberal activist group that has registered millions of voters, have been indicted by a federal grand jury for submitting false voter registration forms to the Kansas City, Missouri, election board. But hey, who needs voter ID laws?We wish this were an aberration, but allegations of fraud have tainted Acorn voter drives across the country. Acorn workers have been convicted in Wisconsin and Colorado, and investigations are still under way in Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania." more examples of fraud have been uncovered in the last two years.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 6 months ago

I know that the ACORN complainers here are alllergic to actual facts, so my apologies if this gets you all itchy--From The Truth About ACORN's Voter Registration Driveby Bertha Lewis and Steve Kest ACORN has implemented the most sophisticated quality-control system in the voter engagement field, but in almost every state we are required to turn in ALL completed applications, even the ones we know to be problematic.Fact: ACORN flags incomplete, problem, or suspicious cards when we turn them in, but these warnings are often ignored by election officials. Often these same officials then come back weeks or months later and accuse us of deliberately turning in phony cards.Fact: Our canvassers are paid by the hour, not by the card, so there is NO incentive for them to falsify cards. ACORN has a zero-tolerance policy for deliberately falsifying registrations, and in the relatively rare cases where our internal quality controls have identified this happening we have fired the workers involved and turned them in to election officials and law-enforcement.Fact: No charges have ever been brought against ACORN itself. Convictions against individual former ACORN workers have been accomplished with our full cooperation, using the evidence obtained through our quality control and verification processes.Fact: Voter fraud by individuals is extremely rare, and incredibly difficult. There has never been a single proven case of anyone, anywhere, casting an illegal vote as a result of a phony voter registration. Even if someone wanted to influence the election this way, it would not work.Fact: Most election officials have recognized ACORN's good work and praised our quality control systems. Even in the cities where election officials have complained about ACORN, the applications in question represent less than 1% of the thousands and thousands of registrations ACORN has collected.Fact: Our accusers not only fail to provide any evidence, they fail to suggest a motive: there is virtually no chance anyone would be able to vote fraudulently, so there is no reason to deliberately submit phony registrations. ACORN is committed to ensuring that the greatest possible numbers of people are registered and allowed to vote, so there is also NO incentive to "disrupt the system" with phony cards.Fact: Similar accusations were made, and attacks launched, against ACORN and other voter registration organizations in 2004 and 2006. These attacks were not only groundless, they have since been exposed as part of the U.S. Attorneygate scandal and revealed to be part of a systematic partisan agenda of voter suppression.Bertha Lewis is a senior organizer for ACORN. Steve Kest is ACORN's Executive Director.

Boeing 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm one of those people who doesn't care if you register to vote AGAINST my beliefs, or even if it causes my candidate to lose...the majority needs to be voiced, and that can only come with increased voting. I hope all those who register actually vote on that Tuesday!

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