» By ballot or by bullet: Threats of militia violence are the only thing expected to lower the Libyan voter turnout in their first major democratic move since Muammar Gadhafi was overthrown. In the U.S., meanwhile, voting restriction laws have been passed in over a dozen states, which might make 5 million eligible voters’ trips to the ballot box much harder this November.
Some of those people used to be her supporters. But now Ron has his own team that’s energized to make sure he gets across the finish line on Tuesday, and Gabby is very excited about that.Gabrielle Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly • Discussing her meeting with volunteers for her former district office director, Ron Barber, on Sunday. Barber faces a tough election battle to fill Giffords’ former seat tonight. Giffords’ opponent in 2010, former Marine Jesse Kelly, lost by a mere 4,000 votes, and he’s facing Barber. By pure numbers, the Republican may have an easier time reaching victory — there are 26,000 more Republicans registered in the district (in and around Tucson, Arizona), than Democrats. But Barber has the support of Giffords, and that might make all the difference.
I wish all elections had this turnout. This should be the norm, not the exception.Madison, Wi. resident Tom Bartelt • Offering a bipartisan message that everyone can probably agree with. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that the city’s 53rd ward had significantly high numbers of newly registered voters on Tuesday — 500 in total, out of 1,500 total voters. (click for more)
» While many polling places are reporting smooth sailing, Egypt’s election day has not been without incident, and many are shocked by voter turnout compared to November’s parliamentary elections. Some towns have seen as few as ten percent of the voting population cast a vote, though some analysts predict there will be an evening surge as adults get off work, and outdoor temperatures begin to drop. There have also been sporadic reports of bribery on the parts of various campaigns. Both the Muslim Brotherhood, and the campaign of candidate Kafr al-Sheikh, have allegedly distributed food and money in exchange for votes, though both groups have denied the allegations.
Contrary to what many believe, the central effect of such negative advertising isn’t to move voters from supporting another candidate to backing yours, as Mitt Romney and his allies have discovered during this primary season. The main effect is not even to move undecided voters into your column. No, the real effect of negative advertising is to energize and solidify support among your ideological base while turning everyone else off to the other candidate, the campaign and the entire electoral process. Negative advertising isn’t about changing minds; it’s about altering the composition of the voter pool on Election Day by turning moderate voters into non-voters.The Washington Post’s Stephen Pearlstein • Offering a counterpoint to Ezra Klein’s point from the other night; Pearlstein suggests politicians want people to turn off from the political process, because it helps them stabilize the electoral pool come election time. Which is how we get stuff like Obama eating dog food on an Etch A Sketch with Mitt Romney’s face drawn on it, or something like that.
» Is this a sign of voter fraud? Not really, Pew says. The bigger problem, they claim, is that outdated methods are being used to sign voters up. They recommend a more centralized voting system that utilizes online registration — similar to the one eight states (Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Washington) are already working on. They suggest such a system will save money by preventing duplication and cutting down on form usage.