Maintaining Accurate Voter Rolls: The Dirty Work Behind Clean Elections

Maintaining accurate voter rolls is a never-ending task “akin to doing laundry,” says U.S. Election Assistance Commission chairman Matthew Masterson. Conducting statutorily required voter list maintenance is also “an important part of protecting the integrity of our nation’s elections.”

Voter list maintenance is not a new concept born of recent controversies and allegations. In fact, the sustained list maintenance effort to improve the accuracy of voter registration rolls traces back to the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), commonly referred to as the “motor voter” law. NVRA not only facilitates the ease of voter registration at motor vehicle offices and public assistance offices, but it also prescribes the process for updating and proper removal of outdated voter records via data shared between counties, across states, by departments of health and motor vehicle offices, the United States Postal Service and a variety of other data sources.

Masterson continues, “Nobody wants an accurate voting roll more than the officials who administer elections.” Some election officials, yes, but not all.

 

Multiple jurisdictions across the country have been successfully sued under the NVRA for failing to do the required dirty work of maintaining accurate voting rolls, including four Mississippi counties and two Texas counties. Hundreds more have more registered voters than citizen voting age-eligible population.

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