True The Vote, the nonpartisan election integrity group based in Houston, placed 160 counties on legal notice regarding their apparent failure to maintain accurate voter registration records. A recent study evidenced that each county reported over 100 percent registration compared to actual living and eligible population.
Current estimates by Pew Research indicate that 24 million registration records are now inaccurate. Although federal law exists to prevent such a sad statistic, it has become clear that a growing number of local election authorities are failing to perform their most basic function. This injustice has been allowed to grow due to a combination of weak federal enforcement and limited citizen attention – until now.
There are many causes for this problem - but all boil down to the fact that standards slip when no one is watching. Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (otherwise known as Motor Voter from the early 1990s) requires local election officials to install a process of their choosing that periodically clears the rolls of any dead, non-citizen, relocated or otherwise ineligible voters. Enforcement has become increasingly selective and, in some cases, discouraged by the Department of Justice.
Americans cannot accept unequal protection under the law. True The Vote initially noticed irregularities in each county’s voter registration records after comparing 2010 Census Data with The Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) June 2011 report to Congress, titled “Impact of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 on the Administration of Elections for Federal Office 2009-2010.” The EAC relies on data submitted by all counties for this report. The findings show maintenance failure in urban, sub-urban and rural counties in both red and blue states.
True The Vote, together with Judicial Watch, recently brought action against the State of Indiana for failing to conduct list maintenance or produce records, disabling citizens from verifying current voter registration lists. Should local officials wish to continue this disturbing trend, legal remedies will be sought to instill faith in our elections once again.
Citizens have the power to correct the crisis of confidence within our elections. Local authorities are falling down on the job. How much longer are you willing to allow that?