Voter Purge May Be Illegal, and Unintentional

Tens of thousands of eligible voters have been removed from voting rolls or blocked from registering in at least six swing states, according to the New York Times. The exclusion of voters appears to violate federal law.


The Times, which based its findings on reviews of state records and social security information, said the removal appears to be an error and not intentional or partisan.


States have been trying to follow the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and remove the names of voters who should no longer be listed; but for every voter added to the rolls in the past two months in some states, election officials have removed two, writes the Times.


The states in question are Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada, and North Carolina. The investigation revealed that some states are improperly using Social Security data to verify new voters’ registration applications, and others may have broken rules that govern removing voters from the rolls within 90 days of a federal election.


Democrats have been more aggressive at registering new voters this year, according to state election officials, so any closer screening of new applications may affect their party’s supporters disproportionately, the Times said.


The result is that on Election Day, voters who have been removed from the rolls could show up and be challenged by political party officials or election workers.


The six states seem to have violated federal law in two ways. Some are removing voters from the rolls within 90 days of a federal election, which is not allowed except when voters die, notify the authorities that they have moved out of state, or have been declared unfit to vote. And some of the states are improperly using Social Security data to verify registration applications for new voters, the newspaper reported.


Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director of BlackEnterprise.com.

ACROSS THE WEB