Professor Michael Herron (Dartmouth College) and I have posted a draft of our American Political Science Association annual conference paper, “House Bill 1355 and Voter Registration in Florida,” here.

Here’s the Abstract:

New state laws governing voter registration went into effect in Florida on July 1, 2011. Among the legal changes
promulgated as a consequence of a piece of Florida state legislation known as House Bill 1355 were new registration
requirements for third-party groups like the League of Women Voters and a new oath, warning of prison time and fines,
that voter registration agents had to sign before engaging in registration activities. Such changes raised the implicit
costs that eligible Florida citizens faced when registering to vote, and we show, consistent with this logic, that voter
registrations across Florida in late 2011 dropped precipitously compared to registrations in late 2007. This pattern is
evident among registrants in general, among registrants age 21 and younger, and among the number of individuals
who registered as Democrats as well as the number who registered as Republicans. Outside of House Bill 1355, we
know of no credible explanations for our findings about Florida registration drops in 2011. Our results thus show how
restrictions on the way that third-party organizations register voters can have tangible effects on actual registrations
and, given that registration prior to an election is a civic necessity in Florida, can affect electoral participation.