I just received this release this morning:
New Report Aims to Inform Debate Over Voter Registration Modernization in the U.S.
Secretaries of State Release Overview of State Voter Registration Database Maintenance Laws & Procedures
(Washington, DC) – The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) today released a report designed to serve as a key resource in deliberations on how to improve voter registration in the U.S. The document, entitled, “NASS Report: Maintenance of State Voter Registration Lists,” focuses on state laws and procedures related to voter registration and the maintenance of voter registration databases, including verification procedures, address confirmation programs and removal of names from lists. It includes state-by-state profiles that highlight cutting-edge initiatives, unique procedures and key legal statutes related to state implementation of voter registration requirements under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).
“This report provides an overview of the complex system of laws and procedures that election officials follow to maintain their statewide voter registration databases, which for those states that didn’t already have one, had to be created under HAVA,” said NASS President and Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson. “We are encouraging Congress, state lawmakers, voter advocates and NASS members themselves to use this document as a resource in their continuing discussions on how to modernize the voter registration process in this country, an issue that is a major topic heading into the 2010 midterm election cycle.”
Highlights of the NASS report include:
Verification of Information on New Voter Registration Applications: Forty-five states provided details on their processes and procedures for verifying information on new voter registration applications. As required by federal law, states attempt to verify the driver’s license number with the state motor vehicle database, or the last four digits of the Social Security number (SSN4) with the Social Security Administration Database. If a match of this information cannot be found, most states permit the voter to remain registered and eligible to vote. However, they may be required to show identification at the polling place.
Identification of Voters Who No Longer Reside Where They Are Registered to Vote: Thirty-four states allow or require election officials to use National Change of Address (NCOA) procedures to identify, and if possible, update address changes. Laws vary on the use of non-forwardable and forwardable notices to voters who might have moved, or those who have not taken some election-related action for a certain period of time. In the majority of states, there is no single address confirmation procedure available to election officials.
Removal of Names from Voter Registration Lists: Through the use of statewide voter registration databases, it is becoming more common for states to share information on voter registrants, making it possible for more than a dozen states to update their rolls when they receive notice from other states that a voter has moved. Additionally, more states than ever before have established an electronic network for data-sharing with their department of vital statistics and other state agencies to track and update information on ineligible or deceased voters, thereby making the process quicker and more efficient.
One state, North Dakota, does not have voter registration and is exempt from federal laws on this issue.
This looks like a useful report, more once I have had a chance to read it. Here is a hard link to this report.