Interstate Crosscheck

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National: Controversial anti-voter fraud program risks disenfranchising voters through racial bias, report finds | Facing South

Back in 2005, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — who as chair of his state’s Republican Party championed an illegal voter suppression technique called “caging” — launched a program called Interstate Crosscheck to compare voter registration data across states and ferret out evidence of double voting. The program has since expanded to 30 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), but it’s been controversial from the start. For one thing, it’s resulted in very few actual cases of fraud being referred for prosecution, as alleged cases of double voting in multiple states turned out to be clerical and other errors. One tally found that while the program has flagged 7.2 million possible double registrants, no more than four have actually been charged with deliberate double registration or double voting. Meanwhile, some states including Florida dropped out of the program due to doubts about the reliability of its data — though others, including the swing state of North Carolina, joined despite those issues. Read More

North Carolina: Despite budget squeeze, lawmakers poised to step up anti-voter fraud spending | Facing South

This week, North Carolina state lawmakers put forward a budget plan that calls for tens of millions of dollars in program cuts — sacrifices that Republican leaders say are necessary since the state will be collecting $1.57 billion less in revenues through 2015 due to hefty tax cuts approved last year. But at least one program is getting a boost in the plan proposed by the Senate: a request from the N.C. State Board of Elections, led by Kim Strach, to add three new investigators to tackle alleged voter fraud. While the Senate’s budget eliminates at least 12 positions from the Department of Health and Human Services, the latest budget plan released Thursday [pdf] calls for $201,657 in new funding “for three new positions to investigate fraud in elections, discrepancies in voter registration information, including duplicate registrations, and to pursue prosecution for violations of election law.” According to news reports, Strach had asked for five new investigators to focus on voter fraud. This was addition to the state board’s May 2014 hire of former FBI agent Chuck Stuber, who has been tasked with investigating voter fraud and campaign finance issues. Read More

Kansas: Program run by Kobach checks voter registration records of more than 100 million people | Lawrence Journal-World

A little-known program run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach goes through more than 100 million voter records from states across the nation. Called Interstate Crosscheck, or “The Kansas Project,” the program compares voter registration records from one state with 27 other participating states to check for duplicate voter registrations and possible double voting. The goal of the program is to clear up registration rolls, Kobach said. Nearly all double registrations are unintentional, resulting from a person moving from one state to another and re-registering to vote, Kobach says. But the computer program drills down further to try to find voters who may have voted in two separate states, he said. It’s a program that Kobach’s office provides for free. “It’s a state-run program that Kansas has developed and it’s a service for the whole country,” Kobach said. The project has generated some controversy. Earlier this month, Republican officials in North Carolina, a key battleground state, said the Interstate Crosscheck uncovered proof of widespread voter fraud. But after those initial reports, officials have walked back those assertions and were focusing on investigating a much smaller number of potential cases. Read More

Florida: State quits controversial voter ‘purge’ program | MSNBC

Florida has ditched a controversial GOP-backed program aimed at catching voters who are registered in multiple states, which some voting-rights advocates say can make it easier for eligible voters to be wrongly purged from the rolls. It’s the same program whose data were used for an eye-catching recent report suggesting that more than 35,000 people may have voted in North Carolina and another state in 2012—a conclusion that was quickly debunked by numerous experts. Florida’s decision to leave the Interstate Crosscheck system, created by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, was first reported Friday by the Miami Herald. “The Department of State and Supervisors of Elections currently work with elections officials in other states to update registrations regarding residency, and we are always exploring options to improve the elections process,” Brittany Lesser, a spokeswoman for Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, told msnbc in a statement. The state’s move is striking because, under Republican Gov. Rick Scott, Florida has led the way in aggressively removing voters from the rolls. A 2012 effort that aimed to find non-citizens purged numerous eligible voters, including a 91-year old World War II vet. A court recently declared the move illegal. Last month, Detzner announced that a new bid to cut voters from the rolls would be delayed until next year. Read More

North Carolina: State joined controversial voter cross-check program as other states were leaving | Facing South

On April 2, 2014, leaders of North Carolina’s state election board announced they had participated in a national program to verify voters run by Kansas’ controversial secretary of state, Kris Kobach. The results ignited a firestorm: Media outlets and Republican lawmakers quickly declared that plugging North Carolina’s voter data into Kobach’s Interstate Crosscheck program had revealed proof of “widespread voter fraud” and justified a host of voter restrictions passed in 2013. But Interstate Crosscheck has been hounded by controversy since it launched in Kobach’s office in 2005. Despite initial hysteria about alleged fraud — as happened this month in North Carolina — few actual cases of fraud have been referred for prosecution, as presumed cases of double voting in multiple states turn out to be clerical and other errors. Amidst the controversy, at least two states have dropped out of the program, just as North Carolina was joining it. Read More