Advocates for election integrity breathed a sigh of relief late this week after the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) announced their full intention to make certain that voter rolls were accurate prior to the November General Election. Their efforts deserve to be commended.
On Thursday, the Virginia SBE announced the purchase of the comprehensive Social Security Administration’s Death Master File from the National Technical Information Service, a US Commerce Department program that offers “information that stimulates innovation and discovery. ” The list was used to cross-reference the Virginia voter rolls for un-accounted deaths. Early results evidence at least 10,000 deceased Virginians were still eligible to vote this November.
True The Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht commended Virginia’s efforts today stating, “This will go a long way to improve faith in our voting system and set a good example for others to follow. Every legal action that state and local authorities can take to improve our election system builds confidence in the process – voter list maintenance is the keystone to election integrity.”
Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (aka Motor Voter) of 1993 requires election officials to conduct a reasonable effort to maintain voter registration lists free from dead voters, ineligible voters and voters who have moved away. True The Vote recently gave legal notice to 160 counties in 19 states regarding their potential violation of Section 8 – holding more than 100 percent voter registration.
“Voter list maintenance can be a difficult and demanding process, but we must make certain that it continues,” Engelbrecht argued. “State and local authorities with limited resources wishing to follow Virginia’s lead can count on True The Vote’s national network of volunteers.”