Polling Stations Tend to Overstate Turnout
NEW YORK – November 6, 2018
The number of people who vote is of great importance for all political parties not only in terms of legitimizing their policy in case of victory, but also in achieving this victory.
Midterms traditionally see low voter turnout: In 2014, national participation stalled at just 37% — a record low since World War II.
But this year, many experts believe sharp political divisions will spark a rise, with the latest polls predicting higher participation in 18 states and Washington, DC.
Figures compiled Saturday by Michael McDonald of the US Elections Project show that at least 34 million Americans voted early — either by mail or in person — far higher than the 27 million of 2014.
All these appeals do not specifically mention Trump, or any candidate — but they are more likely to mobilize potential Democrats, said Harvard University political science professor Thomas Patterson.
While Republican voters are more “stable,” he said, Democrat-leaning minorities and young people generally “are more responsive to the circumstances of the moment.”
And both ends of the spectrum could be mobilized by recent events.
That’s why celebrities, business leaders, and even smartphone apps are pitching in to get as many Americans as possible to the polls for a key test of Donald Trump’s presidency.
On Thursday, television icon Oprah Winfrey was the latest star to come out for the Democrats, campaigning door-to-door for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in an Atlanta suburb.
That followed the release of an ad produced by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and featuring actresses including Julianne Moore, Jodie Foster, Ellen Pompeo, and the singer Cher.
Meanwhile, businesses from clothing giants Gap and Levi’s to Walmart as well as the ride-sharing apps Lyft and Uber are taking steps aimed at boosting turnout.
Some will give their employees the day off to vote, while Lyft and Uber will offer cut-price rides to polling stations.
Music streaming platforms Spotify and Pandora are targeting young people, whose participation is historically particularly feeble, with playlists featuring direct links to voter registration resources.
But this is generally at the national level. At the local level, everything is much easier. Evaluation of the effectiveness of specific people at polling stations depends on the number of voters. But nobody knows the final figures until the end of the vote. Therefore, responsible persons can only report on the number of "I voted" badges distributed. They distribute these badges to all who come to the station, even those who did not vote or have no right to vote. Then they take pictures and publish them online — this partly explains high turnout figures.
Our correspondent visited one of the sites in the Harlem area in New Yor where the vote is underway without much activity, but some voters have shared their impressions.
Voter Mike, who lives in Harlem, makes no secret of casting his voice in favor of the Republican candidate.
"Although I think the election is very unfair, I vote every time, I think it's our duty," he said.
Another voter Edwin also found this election “extremely important.” He said he didn't like what was going on in the country, and he was waiting for a change, which is why he came out.
Despite that many are noting that the elections are being held quietly and without serious violations, the Election Commission has received complaints that some voters were expelled on the eve of elections. This was also discussed during the Tea Party meeting in Brooklyn. However, observers from the party reported that these actions were committed legally, as voters either repeatedly violated national legislation or incorrectly registered.