Wednesday, October 1, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Voter plan a political time bomb

elias column sig

By
From page A13 | December 05, 2012 |

A time bomb that could bring major changes to California politics has been set in place and is very likely to become explosive before the next presidential election.

Right now, Democrats are licking their chops over the potential benefits they expect from same-day voter registration, a practice that’s been allowed in nine other states and will become the norm here the year after the secretary of state, California’s top election official, certifies a new high-tech voter registration database. That will take several more years, but most likely will be done before the fall of 2016.

Same-day registration is a system hated just now by Republicans, who say it will invite fraud even though ballots cast by same-day registrants will be considered provisional, with election officials in all counties having until the end of the election canvassing period (about a month post-election) to determine whether new registrants were really eligible to vote.

Democrats believe the new system will provide them hundreds of thousands of new voters, perhaps enough to decisively control several swing districts created in the 2011 redistricting plan devised by the Citizens Redistricting Commission, which got its first test this fall.

They anticipate that myriad citizens who have been uninvolved and not interested enough in government to register to vote by the current deadline two weeks prior to Election Day will take heed at the last minute and go vote.

Republicans, meanwhile, see the practice as inviting illegal immigrants and shady sorts into the voting booth. For one example, they ascribe the 2008 election of Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota to “over 1,000 illegal Election Day registrations.” Franken won election by fewer votes than that.

The predicted effects of same-day registration are reminiscent of what so-called experts believed in 1976, when California OK’d unlimited voting by absentee ballot. Previously, absentee voters had to certify they were either too ill to vote in person or would be away on Election Day. The practice has grown to the extent that almost half of all ballots here this fall were cast by mail, voters getting the chance to mark their ballots as they made up their minds proposition by proposition and candidate by candidate.

Republicans licked their chops at the prospect of all those absentee ballots, knowing they had always before dominated the smallish mail vote because the GOP has traditionally done better among high-wealth groups that travel a fair amount.

That’s how it went, too, for the first six years or so of unlimited absentees. Then Democrats learned how to stage ballot-marking parties and began to send absentee voter applications to targeted groups, many of whom were registered but didn’t vote very often. Gradually, Democrats began winning more and more mail votes, until these days they consistently take a majority of them statewide.

Might this work in reverse with same-day registration, with Republicans figuring out new ways to entice party sympathizers who don’t often vote to come out at the last moment? There’s every possibility for that.

A similar delayed reaction was already felt this fall from Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2011 signature on a bill allowing online voter registration for anyone who already has a signature on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Again, Republicans lamented potential fraud, as 22,000 people registered by computer on the first day it was possible last September. By the registration deadline, almost 1 million new voters had been added to the rolls this way, mostly among people who found registering in person inconvenient.

Legislative Republicans voted against this step, but it may turn out to benefit the party in the long run, again because of that wealth factor: It takes a certain modicum of cash or credit to buy a computer and get online with it. That’s probably why most online polls taken without randomized sampling come out favoring the conservative side of whatever issue is up for question.

Just as no one could anticipate the eventual impact of unlimited absentee voting, no one can now be certain who will be the long-term beneficiary of the newly liberalized voting laws. It all depends on who comes up with the best system for taking advantage of the system to register and turn out voters who might lean their way.

Thomas Elias is a California author. Reach him at tdelias@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Middle school students put school candidates on the hot seat

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suisun City candidates get lively in 2nd council forum

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Solano focuses on rail safety

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Booz and Brewz benefit for the Blue Star Moms

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Police search for missing man

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Salvation Army gears up for annual Red Kettle campaign

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Blessing of the animals slated Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Travis airman killed in motorcycle accident

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

 
Caltrans cancels nighttime Highway 37 closures

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Theaters primed for bevy of new movies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Fairfield police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

Fairfield police log: Sept. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
FBI announces reward for Vacaville bank robber

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A10

American Legion seeks Korean War veterans for award

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Third Annual Ride to Defeat Diabetes is Sunday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

4-H Achievement Night honors county members

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A10

 
Measure A committee plans weekend precinct walk

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Forest areas reopen after huge fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hong Kong leader refuses to meet with protesters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Secret Service chief on hot seat for WH breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Afghan pact signed amid questions on Iraq pullout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Oklahoma man charged with murder in beheading

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Luck, instinct determined fates of volcano hikers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Government confirms first case of Ebola in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Mayor of suburban Los Angeles city killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Crash, suspicious device lead to 101 closure in LA

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Gov. Brown governor vetoes ethics bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 6 Comments

Police on manhunt find pipe bombs in woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
California becomes first state to ban plastic bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

Bay Area looks to expand overnight transit options

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Gov. Jerry Brown signs California gun restriction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 12 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

One simple slicing trick to bake a beautiful tart

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

 
The flavor of fall – pumpkin pie in a cinnamon bun

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Morgan: ‘Can’t believe’ Walmart blaming him

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

 
Royals beat A’s 9-8 in 12 in AL wild-card thriller

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Local report: Rodriguez volleyball team downs Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Pirates’ Volquez looks to continue revival against Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders make Tony Sparano interim coach after firing Allen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Training camp essential for NBA’s new head coaches like Warriors’ Kerr

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

No. 14 Stanford trying to jolt stagnant offense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NC State coach apologizes for fake injury remarks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL says Abdullah should not have been penalized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL has laundry list of verboten celebrations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Government: NFL TV ‘blackout’ rule unsportsmanlike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Olympian Michael Phelps apologizes for DUI arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Gravely injured Giants fan sues Dodgers again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
Ex 49ers RB James agrees to terms with Dolphins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
FCC will consider petition to ban ‘Redskins’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers’ Wilhoite filling the injury void at linebacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Business

EU says Apple gets illegal tax benefits in Ireland

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Could a merger follow the PayPal-eBay split?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

.

Obituaries

David Earl Butenhoff-Forristall

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Marte Abad Lubag

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Clara May Clift Triplett

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

.

Breast Cancer Awareness 2014

Breast cancer in younger women

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA2

Talking with your doctor

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA3

Breast cancer myths

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA4

Diet linked to cancer

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA9

Giving emotional support

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA10

After the treatment

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA12

Join the fight: Get involved

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA15