Seven counties in Nebraska and one in Iowa are being threatened with lawsuits over having more registered voters than voting-age residents. Two national groups say the numbers are evidence that county officials are not cleaning up voter registration rolls, as federal law requires. The Public Interest Legal Foundation, based in Plainfield, Indiana, and True the Vote, based in Houston, have both sent letters alerting county officials to the alleged violations. The letters said that poorly maintained voter rolls threaten the integrity of elections. “Corrupted voter rolls provide the perfect environment for voter fraud,” said J. Christian Adams, the legal foundation’s president and general counsel. But state and county officials said data quirks and requirements of federal election laws, not mismanagement or incompetence, account for the apparent discrepancies. They also say that they are complying with requirements concerning removing voters who have moved or died. Loup County Clerk Debbie Postany, one of the officials who received letters, emphatically denied any laxity in maintaining voter lists. “Before you send letters accusing hard-working, dedicated and often underpaid public officials of not doing their jobs, perhaps you should be aware of ALL the facts,” she wrote in a reply letter.
… Each group based its conclusions on voter registration numbers reported to the federal Election Assistance Commission, along with U.S. Census Bureau data.
The World-Herald, looking at a similar comparison, found Loup County, as of Sept. 1, had 513 registered voters. The 2014 census estimated the county had 469 residents age 18 and older. Kimball County had 3,023 registered voters as of Sept. 1, compared with 2,893 residents of voting age, according to the latest census estimate.
But Nebraska and Iowa officials said those sources can be misleading when compared. For one thing, voter registration laws don’t match up with census practices. A Kimball County college student who gets an apartment in Lincoln would be counted as a Lancaster County resident for the census but would still be eligible to vote in Kimball County.