State elections officials have told local registrars to remove names from their voter rolls based on data from an information-sharing program used by 26 states. According to the program, some 57,000 voters have registered to cast ballots in Virginia and other states. If all of those voters were, indeed, ineligible to vote in Virginia, they should be kicked off the roll. But all of them are not. And that’s why the Democratic Party of Virginia has turned to the courts to block the effort. The party contends the lists include names of people who shouldn’t be removed and that state officials haven’t provided sufficient guidance, or established a consistent process, to assist local registrars in properly removing names. Lawrence C. Haake III, general registrar in Republican-heavy Chesterfield County, has offered support for Democrats’ case in a sworn statement submitted to the federal court. “The list sent to us from the (State Board of Elections) is clearly inaccurate and unreliable,” Haake said, describing the information-sharing program as new and saying that “its accuracy is not proven.”
Haake said state officials sent him a list that included about 1,000 active registered voters to be removed. He sorted the data in a spreadsheet and found that 170 to 180 names had been registered to vote more recently in Virginia than in another state.
In other words, there was no reason for 17 percent of the names on the list to be booted off the Chesterfield County voting roll. The outcome cast doubt on the rest of the list.
Haake has put off the task of going through the list, much less using it to purge names from the voter rolls, until after the election. Other registrars are trying to juggle the usual heavy workload of preparing for the general election and poring over a list clearly riddled with errors.