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Voter Registration

Outdated and inaccurate voter rolls enable vote fraud, but efforts to clean them up result in disenfranchisment. Why is it so hard to keep the rolls clean? Evidently there are a lot of reasons. Voter registration is typically the responsibility of local officials who don't have enough time and money. A few states have implemented or plan to implement state-wide voter registration.

In fact, the concept of statewide voter registration seems to be catching on. For example, it is a key criteria of the Common Cause Election Reform Report Card. It is also a principle recommendation of the Carter-Ford election reform commission.

On July 28, 2001 I received a newsletter from the Voting Integrity Project, a voter rights organization, announcing:

"We are now promoting the concept of a nationally-networked registration system comprised of 50 state centralized voter registration systems, all computerized and able to interact with each other and with their local registrars. Only with such a system in place, can we know - really know - that a registration is valid and that an individual is registered and voting in only one jurisdiction at a time."

"VIP has been participating in an historic effort currently underway to create the digital language which would form the skeletal structure of such a system. It would give local, state and federal elections the same level of inter-operability now enjoyed by departments of motor vehicles. VIP is meeting every few weeks with other organizations, under the auspices of a non-profit computer standards organization, to draft this election-specific 'Extensible Markup Language.' [XML] We hope to complete the draft within 6 to 9 months."

Sounds like a great idea. I'll try to find out more and post the details here.

Do you know of any good sources of information on this issue? For contact info please see About ERIN.

Last updated 07/29/2001