Since voting is already under way in Ohio, this Times investigation of voters being removed from the rolls in violation of federal law is troubling to say the least. At least six swing states appear to have illegally removed voters, ironically while these states were trying to comply with the 2002 Help America Vote Act intended to, um, help America vote.
Just how the states have deviated from the law varies: in Colorado and Michigan they're removing voters less than 90 days out from an election (not OK except in cases of death); Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio seem to be misusing Social Security data to verify voter registration (as illustrated in this graphic); and three other states have troubling use of the data as well. Under federal law, using Social Security data to verify voter registration is to be an absolute last resort as federal databases are less reliable than state.
To see what the investigation found,
The Times found that, for instance, Nevada used the Social Security database more than 740,000 times to check voter files and found 715,000 nonmatches. Though the irregularities don't appear to be partisan, due to aggressive voter drives by the Obama campaign, those voters could be disproportionately affected.
With episodes of voter fraud already surfacing, and questions as whether foreclosure or mental illness affects voting status, does this new information indicate serious problems with our voting system? Do you anticipate big problems at the polls next month, or are these isolated incidents?