Eight states launch pilot program to tackle voter registration errors

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February 14, 2012

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Following the release of a Pew Center report that indicated that approximately 1.8 million dead people are still listed on voter rolls across the United States, a total of eight states announced a pilot program to iron out the errors.

The eight states - Oregon, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Utah, Nevada and Washington - plan to start sharing voter registration information as part of the pilot program.[1]

The new tactic, said Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown should not only help improve accuracy but also increase the number of registered voters. According to election officials, in 2010 approximately 850,000 people eligible to vote in Oregon weren't registered.[2]

The pilot program was organized by David Becker, director of election initiatives at Pew. According to reports, Becker hopes to have the program implemented in time for November's 2012 general elections.[3]

The pilot program will compare motor vehicle and voter registration data. Information like national change of address data from the Postal Service will also be used. Other information that may also be cross referenced include death records from the Social Security Administration.[3]

In efforts to avoid mistakenly removing voters from the rolls, Becker said, officials are required by law to make an effort to contact the voter.[3]

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed said "We've even had cases, in very small counties, people [with the] same name and same birth dates." That, he said, has lead to instances of "dead" people voting.[3]

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