Call It the Katherine Harris Effect

From Holden:

New voter registration is up 64% in my home county here in Texas:

With five weeks to go before the presidential election, Travis County residents are registering to vote in record numbers.

Since Sept. 1, the county tax office has received 29,865 voter registration applications, a 64 percent jump from the 18,207 received during the same period in September 2000

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Travis County typically leans Democratic.

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Dolores Lopez, director of voter registration for the Travis County tax office, suspects younger people are behind the pumped-up registration numbers.

“I suspect it’s them, just from the people coming into our office,” she said. “A lot of our volunteer deputy registrars who are out registering at events are young people.”

Many young adults might have studied the controversial 2000 election and decided to get involved this year, Lopez said.

“I’m not used to seeing so many young people in our office,” Lopez said.

There are many big issues this year, none bigger than the war. But I suspect that the debacle in Florida in 2000 woke many of these new voters up to the fact that every vote is important. Here in Texas we also saw that once the Republicans had a bare majority they would use it to deprive us of our elected officials through illegal redistricting. Now those who slept through the 2000 campaign are registering in record numbers.

The Democratic Party would do well to remind voters of what Jeb and Ms. Harris did in Florida last time around. We’ll find fewer people taking the process for granted this time.