Thursday, October 09, 2008

Voter Rolls Possibly Purged Illegally, NYT Reports

The New York Times has reviewed state records and Social Security data, and it reports that "tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law." You can read the report here.

The Times findings have been presented to the Social Security Administration, which has notified the Department of Justice about the problem and has sent letters to Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio election officials, asking them to make sure that they are not violating federal law. The Social Security Administration's press release is available on its website. The times article also mentions that Colorado, Louisiana, and Michigan could be purging their voter rolls illegally.

The Times article reports that in their efforts to comply with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, states have been removing names that should no longer be on their voter rolls. Some states are violating federal law by purging voter names from their rolls within 90 days of a federal election or by improperly using the Social Security database to check voter registration applications. Rosemary E. Rodriguez, the chairwoman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, is quoted in the Times article as saying that these voter law violations could create "extremely serious problems."

Need more resources about this issue? See our subject guide on Elections and Voting.

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