October 9, 2008
Swing States Wrongly Drop Voters, Deny New Voters
By IAN URBINA
By Ian Urbina
The New York Times
Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states, including North Carolina, have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law. That's according to a review of state records and Social Security data by The New York Times.
The actions do not seem to be coordinated by one party or the other, nor do they appear to be the result of election officials intentionally breaking rules. They appear to be the result of mistakes in the handling of voter registration and files as the states tried to comply with a 2002 federal law intended to overhaul the way elections are run.
The screening and trimming of voter registration lists in the six states - Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio - could result in problems at the polls on Nov. 4 : People who have been removed from the rolls are likely to show up only to be challenged by party officials or election workers, resulting in confusion, long lines and heated tempers.
Some states allow such voters to cast provisional ballots, but their votes often are not counted because they require verification.
States have been trying to follow the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and remove 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, officials have removed two.
The six states seem to be in violation in two ways. Some are removing voters within 90 days of a federal election, which is not allowed except when voters die, notify authorities that they have moved out of state, or have been declared unfit to vote.
Some states are improperly using Social Security data to verify new-voter applications .
why did it happen?
The actions are apparently the result of mistakes in the handling of voter registrations and voter files as the states tried to comply with a 2002 federal law.
More election news, Page 9
Originally published by BY IAN URBINA.
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