VR Problems in Texas

The Star Telegram reports today that the problems with voter registration that we wrote about recently in California are not isolated. Texas is having similar problems with its voter registration system. As the paper notes:

Dallas County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet was panicking. The new state voter-registration database was rejecting thousands of registered voters each day because the state could not match their names with those in driver’s license and Social Security records.

Each time the state turned away voters, Sherbet’s office sent them a letter saying they had been rejected.

In Tarrant and Denton counties, elections administrators had another problem. The state’s computer system initially required driver’s license numbers. If your number began with a zero, you got kicked off the voter rolls for insufficient digits.

Some of the problems have been corrected over the last month and the number of problem VR files being referred to counties have decreased. However, there are still logistical issues with how the state handles mismatched ballots. As the article reports,

One key difference between Texas and many other states is that Texas won’t print the names of mismatched voters on poll lists. In some states, like Oregon, names of those who are rejected will still be printed on the rosters delivered to polling places, but they’ll be flagged as requiring verification…

The critical issue is whether states will use provisional balloting and other methods to help improve the process of fixing voter registration as they transition to new VR technologies.