For veteran election-watcher Curtis Gans, who runs the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, this disenfranchisement is a major problem. “There are 50 million American citizens who aren’t registered to vote,” he says. “And there are 20 million names on registration lists that ought not to be there.” Alaska, Illinois, and South Dakota have more voters on their lists than there are citizens eligible to vote living there, Mr Gans has told Congress. And of 172 recognised democracies, the US is ranked 139th in voter participation, he says.
… Katie Jackson wanted to do her democratic duty. On Saturday, a few months after turning 18, she went with her parents to Springdale, South Carolina, to cast her ballot in the Republican primary. She waited while her parents’ names were found on printed lists of registered voters, handed over her state-issued driving license and waited for the poll manager to hand her a blue voter ID slip. But Katie’s name was not on the list. As her parents cast their votes, she waited a little longer. The poll managers gave up looking. Were they sure this was her precinct? Confused, Melanie and Frankie Jackson drove Katie to Lexington, a neighbouring county, where they lived until recently. No luck. Somewhere between the Department of Motor Vehicles – where Katie registered to vote – and the various local polling venues, the paper trail had gone cold.
Full Article: BBC News – Science of elections: The problem with turnout.