People Keep Moving: Brian Newby’s Latest


[Image courtesy of ElectionDiary]

Programming Note: If you’re going to be in Minneapolis tomorrow, October 23, please join me and Bipartisan Policy Center’s John Fortier for “Election Day 2012 – A Look at (and Behind) the Headlines”. Here’s the blurb:

While the presidential campaign and high-profile fights about voter ID have dominated the debate, Election Day will also see the culmination of a number of other fascinating stories – in Minnesota and across the nation – that will play a significant role in the outcome of the 2012 election. Please join a pair of national election experts as they discuss these issues and take questions from the audience about the nation’s readiness for Election Day – and what it could mean for America’s system of elections in the future.

The event will take place at noon in the Cowles Auditorium at the Humphrey School (301 19th Avenue South Minnespaolis MN 55455) – hope you can join us!


Back in July, I featured a post by ElectionDiary’s Brian Newby about the impact of residential mobility on election administration. With Election Day just over two weeks away, Brian has updated that post with the latest round of activity, entitled “People Move, The Sequel” It’s reproduced below.

In July, I had a post featuring returned postcards that we mailed in advance of the August primary.

Two-thirds of the county’s voters already had at least one election 2012 before that mailing (thus, a previous mailing), and yet we had thousands of postcards returned as undeliverable.

We worked all of those, either making the voter inactive or updating the voter’s registration. Theoretically, every voter in Johnson County was confirmed with a current address in July.

Then, with our election, we had more than 1,000 provisional ballots that again required updating of voter records. Many of these were from voter moves, so, again, in August, every voter in Johnson County was confirmed with a current address.

Two months later, last Friday, we mailed a postcard to active voters who were not on the permanent sick and disabled ballot list. Of our roughly 370,000 voters at the time, the postcard went to approximately 330,000, all verified at their address less than 60 days before.

As promised, here’s a snapshot [above] of how many have come back undeliverable.

This provides some perspective about how many transactions and registrations we handle. A 30,000-voter increase in our rolls this year, 10 percent, results in nearly 100,000 activities to remove, update, or add voters, netting 30,000.

For fun, [here’s] the photo from the earlier post in July. You’ll see we have eight trays back now and only had seven then!

Keep in mind we have the same staff size that existed 20 years ago, when we had 150,000 fewer voters, and you’re likely beginning to see why photo ID never cracked the top 10 in terms of operational issues we’ve had to work through in 2012.

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