Voter purges, which became infamous in Florida in the 2000
election, seem to have become a consistent problem since then based on
anecdotal evidence. But few have looked across states to see how
routine purges to “clean” the voter rolls of ineligible voters are
actually carried out when they don’t make headlines. The Brennan
Center for Justice has investigated and what they report
is troubling. Their findings point to the critical need for vastly
greater oversight, accountability and consistence in e
Common Cause and The Century Foundation have released the new version
of their joint biennial report on election administration in 10 swing
states and the findings are not very encouraging: while voters' desire
to participate is growing, states have only made fitful progress
improving the voting process, and in many instances things have moved
backward since the last federal election in 2006. Examining the most
recent election experiences of Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia
the report details serious problems in every major aspect of the voting
process, along with a handful of bright spots where individual states
are moving important reforms.
The 2000 presidential election propelled America's problems with our
elections into the national spotlight in an unprecedented way.
Americans, night after night, watched news stories exposing the many
problems that are routine in elections but that receive little
attention: confusing ballots that lead people to mark their vote for
the wrong candidate, voter suppression aimed at minorities through
voter registration purges, and weary election officials trying to
discern voters’ intent on ambiguously marked punch card ballots.
The federal Department of Veterans Affairs for months has been
embroiled in a controversy over its prohibition on voter registration
drives in veterans' facilities. Now 10 Secretaries of State and the
Attorney General of Connecticut have stepped into the maelstrom, demanding that the VA reverse its policy.
Late last month, Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz and
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal attempted to register voters at the
Veterans Affairs Hospital in West Haven. They were prevented by staff
from registering voters inside the facility, but they were able to
register a dozen veterans as they were leaving. One newly registered
voter is 92-year-old WWII veteran Martin Onieal.
Voter suppression is growing rapidly in America today.Over half of states now have voter ID requirements more stringent than that required for first time voters in federal elections.Several states are clamping down on voter registration drives or are considering proof of citizenship requirements.
Maintaining accurate voter rolls and ensuring that all eligible voters who register to vote actually make it onto voting rolls are two of the most important functions of election administration.If an eligible voter cannot vote because his name doesn't appear on the voter roll used in an election, the problem will not be addressed by the federal guarantee of a provisional ballot. Such a ballot cannot register a person to vote, it can only preserve a ballot in the case the voter rolls at the precinct are mistaken or the