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New York Voter Rolls Drop 1.6 Million Names

I could not find a link for this. Though, Ian saw reports about this purge at a non-profit advocacy group, and this article posted on a Green list-serve.

New York Voter Rolls Drop 1.6 Million Names
Tuesday 21 October 2008
by: Rick Karlin, The Times Union

Albany – Jokes about people voting early and often aside, some 1.6 million names are being removed from New York’s voting rolls by Election Day – a loss of 14 percent of the state’s previous tally of 12 million voters.

The removals, in which people are purged because they’ve died or moved from their listed address or simply become inactive, may be the largest sweep of registration records in recent memory, according to an elections watchdog.

“There’s really for the first time a wholesale statewide effort going on to remove voters from the rolls,” said Bo Lipari, director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting, a group which is policing the state’s halting efforts to modernize voting machines.

Lipari stressed that the effort is legitimate, since people who have died or relocated shouldn’t be registered to vote in their old districts.

The mass purging is a little-known result of the 2002 Help America Vote Act, which is best-known for requiring every state to adopt modern electronic voting machines. New York remains under a federal court order because of its grindingly slow pace in embracing the new technology.

HAVA also requires that counties, which maintain voter registration lists, coordinate that work with the state Board of Elections to prevent possible duplication or other mix-ups, said Board of Elections spokesman Bob Brehm. That work has been going on since last year.

A statewide list, for example, can help protect against duplicate registrants who may have moved to a new county but have forgotten to change over. They can check birth dates with names, for example, and find duplicates, said Brehm.

Still, Lipari and others caution that with 1.6 million people removed from voter lists, there are bound to be some mistakes.

“I expect a lot of folks are going to show up (to vote) and find they are not on the rolls,” said Lipari.

While this heavily Democratic state is widely expected to swing toward Barack Obama over John McCain in the presidential race, voter registration errors could become critical in locales where there are close state Senate contests – races that could cost Republicans a chamber they currently hold a majority by one seat.

Consequently, lawyers for both parties will be on the lookout in key Senate districts, where a few mistakenly purged or erroneously enrolled voters could make a difference.

“We’ve recruited lawyers for battleground states, but we’ve (also) got 700 to 800 here in New York,” said Cindy Warner, co-chair of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council.

“That effort is always out there,” agreed Matt Walter, executive director of the state Republican Committee, which plans to deploy its own lawyers in key districts as well.

2 Responses

  1. very good!
    loved your site.

  2. […] The board of elections recently purged 1.6 million voters. You can check your own voter registration at the NY State Board of Elections […]

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