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Voters in Swing States Removed From Rolls Illegally

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?


Join The Conversation
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
thanks valancy...I checked and they have me in the system...but it still freaks me out that I could get there and they could say I'm not registered.
Zippa Zippa 8 years
Good post, good questions.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I agree Nicole, this will not be an easy election. I don't really have any doubt that there will be some kind of drama. Sigh.
nicole121482 nicole121482 8 years
I'm predicting huge voter registration disputes next month come election time:( Sad really...I wouldn't even be surprised if a recount was necesary....
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
In my county - and probably in many others - you can check the voter rolls to make sure you are registered correctly. Worth the time it takes. Google "XXXX County Elections" and see if you can do it online. More importantly - and everyone should know this, so spread it around - if you get to the polls and they say you're not registered, fill out a PROVISIONAL BALLOT. This is your right and they have to provide it to you. It's not the same as casting a full ballot - I believe you have to prove your eligibility to vote in order for your vote to count - but it's better than nothing, and lets you stand up against people who try to suppress voters.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
NYT: " but for every voter added to the rolls in the past two months in some states, election officials have removed two, a review of the records shows." Wow! And I have to say...when using Social Security numbers to verify, do they refer to records of identity theft?
Jillness Jillness 8 years
UnDave, it is possible that the population has changed since the last census? Is it possible that college students have now decided to declare their residency in that state this year? There are very credible reasons for stats like that. No matter what, there are laws against voter disenfranchisement for a reason. It is in all of our best interests to not have groups violating the laws on either side of the issue. They just need to stay with in the law when they are investigating it. Kscincotta, that is crazy! Why did they say that you were removed, and how did you find out?
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
God this is disturbing.
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
What in the heck, Georgia?! Is that why I got removed from the voter rolls without any one telling me?
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
Vote early and vote often!
stephley stephley 8 years
Yes it's a huge problem, yes there likely will be serious problems at the polls next month. We're an awful freakin' mess right now.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Don't forget nevada
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Meanwhile, Indianapolis, IN has currently registered 105% of it's population. No voter fraud there...
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