Voter Purges Could Cause Florida-like Presidential Recounts
If the November vote is close, key swing states that have been illegally rejecting voters could become recount battlegrounds like Florida.
By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet
For full story see... Voter Purges Could Cause Florida-like Presidential Recounts
With less than four weeks to go before the 2008 presidential vote, new practices in key swing states to update voter rolls are coming under fire for mistakes that could involve rejecting tens of thousands of legitimate voters, suggesting that close vote counts in these states could lead to legal fights echoing Florida's presidential recount in 2000.
According to a New York Times report on Oct. 9, key swing states -- including Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Missouri -- have been using federal Social Security data to verify voter registration information from established and potential voters. The Social Security data, which is used to authenticate voters' identity but is known to be error-prone, has been used to purge "tens of thousands" of voters already on voter rolls, the Times reported, as well as to reject numerous new voter registration applications.
Of 7.7 million inquiries by states to the Social Security Administration to verify voter applications in 2008, nearly 2.4 million resulted in "non matches," according to the agency, which Monday issued a statement urging election officials in six states -- Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio -- to "review their procedures."
This past summer, AlterNet reported that Michigan, Kansas and Louisiana were using drivers' license databases in a similar manner to purge voters. In both instances, whether using Social Security or motor vehicle data, it is difficult to fully know how voter rolls will be affected because different states and counties have differing procedures on purging and removing voters, and because this process is often secretive.
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