Voter registrations are surging throughout the South as states approach their cut-off dates (for a complete list of voter registration dates in the South, see our previous post here).
Registration in South Carolina ends tomorrow, October 4. Importantly, this also included felons who have had their names removed from the voter rolls -- an especially big issue given problems with improper purging of voter rolls.
South Carolina allows felons to vote after they've completed their sentence, but they must re-register by tomorrow's deadline:
The question has been raised of whether a person who was removed from the voter registration list for a qualifying conviction and is re-registering would have to meet the 30-day voter registration deadline. The SEC has found that state law requires voters in this situation to meet the deadline.
Nine other Southern states -- AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, TN, TX and VA -- have deadlines looming Monday. Following that are West Virginia (October 15), Alabama (October 24) and North Carolina (October 10, and Same-Day Registration between October 16 and November 1).
By all accounts, voter registration continues to surge throughout the South -- and not just in the big urban areas or swing states. Some reports from today:
* 100 applications coming in A DAY in Houston County, Alabama
* Carroll County, Arkansas has added 300 voters in last 30 days
* Record registration in Kentucky includes 1,486 citizens who have served out their felony sentences -- incredible for a state that historically has been among the harshest in disenfranchising ex-felons
* 3,500 people have registered for the first time or updated their registration in Tom Green County, Texas -- population 37,000
We'll be updating voting data from around the South in the coming days. But it's already clear: Election 2008 will be an historic event.