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"GOTV" is shorthand for "get out the vote".

In an earlier diary "swing" and "margin" voters were discussed.

In Dispatches from the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit by Danny Goldberg (which I finished last night and recommend) the author hammers on the point that Clinton had a 19 point margin over Bush in 1992 among 18-25 year olds and that Gore merely broke even among this demographic group in 2000.  Goldberg's thesis is that the Democratic Party is led by cultural snobs that by design or neglect alienate younger voters by neglecting their issues and disrespecting their culture.

I would like to see or some other group make an effort to register enough new voters so that turnout can be elevated by one percent over what it would have been otherwise.  My preference is to have Bush critics and skeptics work to register all, but especially people that are traditionally registered at low rates, young adults, especially enlisted service members.  Of course there has to be a systematic way to encourage individuals to vote too.

Both the Corzine win in New Jersey and Mark Warner's win in Virginia relied heavily on sophisticated efforts to register and get to the polls voters.

Originally posted to Carl Nyberg on Wed Dec 31, 2003 at 02:17 PM PST.


Should registration & GOTV be a major part of the Dem & anti-Bush strategy in 2004?

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| 43 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Re: [poll] GOTV in 2004. Should it be a Dem prior (none)
    Isn't the moter voter bill in effect?  Are there really any large numbers of people who aren't registered to vote?  If someone hasn't registered to vote at this point then its exceptionally unlikely that they will be motivated enough to actually go out and cast a ballot.  I just don't understand this constant push to register voters when virtually everyone is already registered.
    •  motor voter (none)
      If one gets a drivers license at 16, one won't get registered and prob won't get a new drivers license until the 23rd bday.

      But your question assumes that DMVs are perfectly implementing Motor Voter and that the appropriate officials are efficiently processing the paperwork.  I have personal experience that there are shortcomings in both parts of the process.

    •  Re: [poll] GOTV in 2004. Should it be a Dem prior (none)
      You are assuming that motor voter registration is an automatic process, which it is not. It makes it easier to register to vote by allowing you to do so at the DMV, but the user must initiate this process.
    •  Re: [poll] GOTV in 2004. Should it be a Dem prior (none)
      A huge number of people just don't think about it when they move.  Voter registration drives bring in plenty of people who aren't politically active.  One of the local suburbs here in California's 10th district recently had Democrats surpass Republicans thanks to the dedicated work of one such person who spent alot of time tabling at the local farmers' market.  GOTV is absolutely critical - there is no underestimating its importance.
    •  Re: [poll] GOTV in 2004. Should it be a Dem prior (none)
      No, everybody isn't registered. Young adults are often mentioned. The disenfranchisement of African-Americans is a factor in many states. Latinos are generally under-represented at the polling place. But the biggest hidden story, is single women.

      An Alternet article mentioned here about three weeks ago paints an astonishing picture.

      Never-married, divorced or widowed women constitute a whopping 24 percent of the electorate and 42 percent of all registered women voters....
      The good news is that they overwhelmingly vote Democrat. In fact, when viewed strictly in terms of percentage points, Bush led by one point among married women in 2000, while unmarried women preferred Al Gore by 31 points.

      Yes, that's the good news. But, they don't register,

      And of those registered, only 52 percent actually voted in 2000. Sixteen million of them did not register to vote in 2000 and 21-plus million never made it to the polling booth on Election Day. Married people, in general, are 27 percent more likely to register to vote as single people.

      A higher turnout rate among unmarried women could have proved decisive in the 2000 elections, when only 43 percent of single women turned up at the polls, compared to 62 percent of the married women. If unmarried women in Florida had turned out in the same numbers as married women, Al Gore would now be sitting in White House.

      There is plenty more in Lakshmi Chaudhry's eye-opener, but it elicited little comment here. Nor do any other posts I've seen on GOTV. Chaudry provided a roadmap to winning, and Kosians yawned.

      That leads me to a question. I've searched Books in Print, the web, the library for a good source on Getting Out the Vote. There are a few brief guides on the web, nothing with depth. Any suggestions?

    •  Re: [poll] GOTV in 2004. Should it be a Dem prior (none)
      I've been involved in voter registration this month to help register Democrats for the Arizona primary.  I am amazed at how many people are not registered.  Sure, some of them register due to a new address or to switch parties (have to be a Democrat to vote in presidential primary), but there was a percentage (10%?) of people who strode to our table announcing that they needed to register and finally vote because Bush is awful.  I have to admit, Bush is doing a great job motivating people to register.

      There are also plenty of people who aren't motivated voters that it may not be necessary to register as they may buy into Bush's bu****it.  Of course, if Bush scandals are breaking before election day, you want as many people as possible to be able to vote. Though this can go against us also, if the scandals are hitting the Democratic candidate.

      Personally, I'll register anyone and try to talk any unregistered voter into registering.  They may not vote, but at least they'll have the ability to do so.  

      I carry registration forms with me always and it paid off Christmas Eve.  My niece's boyfriend was not registered.  Whoo hoo!  I got him registered as an Independent, and though he probably isn't someone involved in the political scene as we are, he's still able to vote the day of the election either by impulse or by well thought out logic.

      You know, we can all do this.  Go down to your local election office and pick up forms.  If you work in higher education, make sure any of the student workers in your office are registered. If you work at a high school, make sure that all the seniors who will be able to vote in November, have registration forms. It doesn't have to be partisan.  Register everyone no matter their party (some Republicans will not vote for Bush, after all).  You're providing a wonderful service.

  •  GOTV (none)
    Carl, I don't know if you've seen it, but a few weeks ago In These Times had a nice article on Democratic-affiliated 527 groups' GOTV efforts.

    "We need an eruption of hope, of determination, of participation, something hot enough to melt our frozen politics." --Bill McKibben

    by Conventional Wisdom on Wed Dec 31, 2003 at 02:49:25 PM PST

  •  Re: GOTV (4.00)
    I've said this before, but I think GOTV needs to be complimented with what I'll call a PTV effort -- for Protect the Vote.  I was gonna call it KOTV, for Keep Out the Vote, but that sounds like exactly what I think we need to fight against.

    Republican GOTV doesn't end with voter registration.  (In fact, it doesn't begin there, either -- they don't do this.)  It's an active election-day effort, which I mention because most of the discussions I've seen here about GOTV don't actually go beyond registration drives.  Real GOTV (as practiced by both parties) involves more "G-ing" than that.  They actually go and get people out of their houses and give them rides to the polls.

    But Republican GOTV is two-pronged.  Yes, they run vans from the Senior Centers and VFW halls, but they also man minority polling places with challengers who seek to suppress the very vote we've spent our energies "G-ing O."

    What these districts need is not only GOTV, but the equivalent of the escorts given to patients going to women's health clinics that are targeted by protesters.  That is, there need to be trained people present at these polling places armed with at least a working knowledge of local election law, a cell phone, and an 800 number to call that links them to a bank of election lawyers.  So that when we've "G-en" these "Vs" "O," they have someone to turn to when GOP challengers try to deny them a ballot.

    These "counter-challengers" should be able to use their cell phones to get specific answers that they can point to in a statute book, and even call in a rapid response "cavalry" of local election lawyers when necessary.  It won't mean much if we get voters out who give up in the face of a challenge before they even get their ballots -- or perhaps just as bad, are provided with one of those "provisional ballots" that are so easy to dispose of rather than actually count.

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