Cross-Checking the Voter Rolls
When you move, you are likely to notify your friends, family, and cable company. Few of us think to notify election officials and cancel our old voter registration.
To clean up the voter rolls, an increasing number of states are now participating in interstate matching agreements, in which they compare their voter databases in an attempt to identify individuals who may be registered in more than one state.
Maintaining the accuracy of the voter rolls is important. However, interstate matching programs can disenfranchise eligible voters if such procedures are not implemented carefully. Voter database inaccuracies and failures in the matching process can yield false positives, and lead to eligible voters being erroneously removed from the voter rolls.
Such matching programs must be conducted in strict accordance with guidelines established by the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act. States violate these laws—and their citizens’ voting rights—when they fail to grasp the vulnerabilities of the matching process and erroneously remove apparently “matched” voters.
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Every state is tasked with the duty to maintain current and accurate computerized statewide voter registration rolls, while at the same time ensuring that no eligible voters are wrongfully removed from the rolls. This report discusses some of the challenges inherent in balancing these two goals, and offers recommendations for implementing best practices. Read more
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In response to concerns expressed by national voting rights groups Project Vote and the Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN), the Kansas Secretary of State has issued new instructions to county election officials to ensure that eligible voters are not wrongfully removed from the rolls under an ongoing program to update voter registration databases based on interstate matching. Read more
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