voter purge

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Arizona: Settlement could show Maricopa County voters kicked off election rolls | The Arizona Republic

A settlement between the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office and a national voting-rights group could shine a light on how voters are removed from voting rolls across Greater Phoenix. The Recorder’s Office will turn over an electronic list of more than 2 million voter registrations to Project Vote, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan group. The organization last year sued the county after receiving a bill for $50,000 from the previous county recorder to obtain the data, even though political parties get the same information for free, as required by law. Read More

Georgia: Judge dismisses suit alleging Georgia wrongly bumped voters off rolls | Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A federal judge in Atlanta late Friday dismissed a lawsuit that had accused Secretary of State Brian Kemp of illegally bumping Georgia voters off the state’s rolls ahead of the 2016 presidential election. In the 21-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. said the state had taken a “reasonable and nondiscriminatory” approach in trying to reach voters who had not cast a recent ballot to confirm their addresses. Under state law, registered voters are mailed a confirmation notice following a more than three-year period of “no contact” with election officials. If voters do not respond to the notice within thirty days, they are designated as inactive — something that does not prevent them from voting and does not change their registration status. Read More

Virginia: McAuliffe vetoes bills he says could restrict voting rights | CNS

Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday vetoed a bill that he said could disenfranchise qualified voters but Republican legislators said could reduce voter fraud. HB 2343, sponsored by Del. Robert Bell, R-Charlottesville, would have required the state Department of Elections to provide local registrars with a list of voters who, according to data-matching systems, have been found to be registered in another state. … In a statement explaining his veto, McAuliffe said he believed the bill would have endangered the voting rights of some Virginians and increased the administrative burden on local governments. “This bill would invite confusion and increase the possibility of violating federal law,” McAuliffe said. “Moreover, it would expose eligible and properly registered Virginians to the risk of improper disenfranchisement.” Read More

Voting Blogs: 15 States File Amicus Brief Seeking Clarification on NVRA, Non-Voting and List Maintenance | Election Academy

Fifteen states have filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to hear a case in order to clarify if and how states may use evidence of non-voting as a factor in removing voters from the rolls. The question stems from an Ohio case I wrote about last April. There, plaintiffs challenged the state’s “supplemental process” for list maintenance, which uses failure to vote over a two-year period as a trigger for mailings seeking confirmation that the voter still wishes to vote. The allegation is that the use of non-voting as a trigger violates the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which expressly prohibits the removal of voters simply for failure to vote. Read More

Wisconsin: Election officials setting stage to remove hundreds of thousands of names from the voting rolls | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin election officials are setting the stage to remove hundreds of thousands of people from the voting rolls because they have died, moved or not voted in the past four years. The voters will be notified and will have a chance to keep themselves registered to vote. Wisconsin Elections Commission approved the plan Tuesday to send postcards to up to nearly 800,000 voters by June to tell them they will be removed from the voter rolls if they don’t update their information. Also Tuesday, the commission certified to the Legislature that it has put in place a new system allowing people to use an online portal to register to vote, provided they have a valid Wisconsin driver’s license or state ID card. The system is for registering only and voters still have to cast ballots at the polls, in clerks’ offices or by mail. Read More

New York: Purge outdated voter rolls? New York City tried it, with bad results | Associated Press

Whether you believe, or not, that voting fraud is a problem in the U.S., one thing is certain: Tidying up outdated voter rolls is sometimes easier said than done. Just ask election officials in the nation’s largest city. After an independent review found that New York City’s voting lists contained people who were dead or in prison, elections officials began an aggressive housecleaning purge in 2014 and 2015 that eliminated more than 200,000 supposedly invalid registrations ahead of last year’s elections. The result? A record number of complaints during the 2016 presidential primary from legal voters who turned up to cast a ballot, but found that they were no longer registered. “Democracy itself is under attack,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, declared last week soon after announcing plans to join a federal lawsuit against the board over the way the purge was handled. Read More

Ohio: About 7,500 people once purged from Ohio rolls voted in November | The Toledo Blade

About 7,500 voters who were purged from Ohio voter registration rolls from 2011-2014 but were then reinstated at the order of a federal judge last year showed up and voted in the 2016 presidential election. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted made that admission today in announcing his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of a lower court case that threw out the state’s voter registration maintenance process. “While partisan activists have asserted that up to 2 million voters had been wrongfully removed from the voter rolls, data from the 2016 Presidential Election returned only 7,500 ballots cast by those removed after election officials were not able to contact them,” Mr. Husted said in a news release from his office. Mr. Husted said he filed the appeal to justify the state’s ”accurate and up-to-date voter rolls.” Read More

Arizona: State Election Director denies demanding voters be purged | Arizona Capitol Times

A top staffer at the Arizona Secretary of State denied accusations made by county recorders earlier this week that the office ordered voter registrations to be cancelled without proper documentation. In a letter delivered Jan. 23, the county recorders described their relationship with the Secretary of State’s office as “dire,” singling out “verbal abuse,” neglected duties and demands to cancel voters came without proper documentation. Secretary of State Michele Reagan asked for an internal accounting of the accusation that her office improperly sought to have some voters removed from the rolls. Read More

Guam: Election commission to purge 5,318 inactive voters | The Guam Daily

The Guam Election Commission will begin removing inactive voters next month in line with public law, reducing current voter registration numbers of more than 51,000 down to about 46,000. Local law requires the cancellation of inactive voters’ registration after voters fail to participate in the two most recent general elections, in this case the 2014 and 2016 general elections. Guam Election Commission Executive Director Maria Pangelinan said there are approximately 5,318 names of voters on the current list that will be purged by Feb. 24. Read More

New York: Justice Department Seeks to Join Suit Over 117,000 Purged Brooklyn Voters | The New York Times

The Justice Department announced on Thursday that it had filed a motion to join a lawsuit against the New York City Board of Elections, alleging that the board’s Brooklyn office violated federal voter registration law by erasing more than 117,000 Brooklyn voters from the rolls before the primary election simply because they had not voted in previous elections. The filing accused the board of failing to take several steps that are normally required before a voter’s name is removed, and also raised concerns about how the board oversaw the Brooklyn office’s handling of the voter rolls. The petition by the Justice Department to intervene in a lawsuit filed in November by Common Cause New York, a good-government organization, lends significant muscle to an effort to hold the agency responsible for a chaotic Primary Day in April, when many voters in Brooklyn were surprised and infuriated to learn that their voter registrations had been canceled. Read More