Exploring the Potential Effects of Election Day Voter Registration in Mississippi

Blackwell, Adam M. (2014) Exploring the Potential Effects of Election Day Voter Registration in Mississippi. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Dr. Melissa Bass from Public Policy Leadership, The University of Mississippi.

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With recent Supreme Court decisions and state legislative initiatives, policymakers and scholars heatedly debate voting rights in America. The debate typically centers on policies that seek to affect the accessibility of voting. Election Day Registration (EDR) is one voting policy being discussed. Allowing voters to register on Election Day is a policy currently used in eleven states and the District of Columbia, and states with EDR rank highest in the nation’s voter turnout rates. In this thesis, I analyze the voter turnout effects and Election Day Registration policies in North Carolina and Minnesota, as well as the political environments surrounding the implementation and political sustainability of these policies. I compare voter turnout effects prior to and after the implementation of Election Day Registration and research how many voters actually take advantage of EDR in each state, drawing on US Census information on voter turnout for the general population, as well as young voters and racial minorities. I then apply my finding to Mississippi. I conclude that an EDR policy in Mississippi would increase overall turnout, especially among African Americans, Hispanics, and young voters. EDR in Mississippi would also dramatically increase turnout in midterm elections. While there would be substantial voter turnout effects from EDR, the implementation of the policy is not possible in Mississippi’s current political climate. Passage of EDR will require a grassroots movement, opinion change, and a strong outreach effort involving a variety of people and institutions.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Blackwell, Adam M.
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Public Policy Leadership
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Melissa Bass
Thesis Advisor's Department: Public Policy Leadership
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Depositing User: Adam M. Blackwell
Date Deposited: 09 May 2014 14:25
Last Modified: 09 May 2014 14:25
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/127

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