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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This memo summarizes which states are conducting interstate matching programs, how each state uses the resulting data, and the potential problems of using the information from crosschecking to cancel registrations. Read more
A four-state effort to identify and remove duplicate names from state voter registration lists may run afoul of a federal voting law by illegally purging voters, advocates warned in letters to four Midwestern secretaries of state. Read more