Washington, September 28 : An assistant professor at the University at Buffalo (UB) suggests that all political parties in the U.S. better concentrate on registering new voters at the moment because late registrants are more likely to vote in national elections than those registered early.
Dr. Joshua J. Dyck, a Political Science expert, came to this conclusion after studying voters' participation in the 2000 presidential election, with the aid of his colleagues from the University of Maryland and the University of Texas.
"Because the presidential race is shaping up to be close, turnout could very well be the deciding factor again as it was in 2000, and if a party can win the turnout battle, swinging a swing state is possible," he said.
While describing his research, Dyck said: "The study found that people who register to vote closer to registration deadlines are much more likely to vote on Election Day than are people who register earlier in an election year."
He added: "So the takeaway message for political campaigns focused on get-out-the-vote efforts is -- you'll get more bang for your buck if you focus on the narrow window close to the registration deadline, which is coming up in the next two weeks in most states. That's where we see a huge surge in voter registration and those people are much more likely to turn out to vote."
During the study, the researchers observed that people who registered to vote the week of the registration deadline were 16 percent more likely to vote than those who registered one year from the deadline.
Among the late registrants, young adults were 15 percent less likely to vote than older adults, and women were more likely than men to turn out.
The researchers have revealed that late-registering Republicans were much more likely to vote than their Democratic counterparts.
According to them, in most places where Democrats "won" the election in 2000, they had to register many more people than the Republicans because the GOP's new registrants appeared to vote at almost twice the rate as new Democratic registrants.
Late registrants from both parties were more likely to vote than independents, said the researchers.
"The findings from our paper suggest that there is a fertile ground in registering new voters in the weeks leading up to the closing deadline, which is the first week of October in many states. Voters registered in the course of an election campaign are more regular voters than those who registered during the course of the year at the DMV, etc.," Dyck said.
"Given the scores of new voters brought into the primary process through the competitive and historic Democratic race, it will be interesting to see if these folks turn out on election day. The fear for Obama has to be that many young voters registered in the spring are college students, who are notably transient.
"If they changed residences, or moved after graduation, bringing them into the fold during the primary may be insufficient to get them to turn out in the November election," he added.