According to an article in the New York Times today, tens of thousands of eligible voters have erroneously—and illegally—been removed from voter rolls in at least six battleground states, including North Carolina.
On top of the fact that it is against the law (with few exceptions, such as death) to purge voter rolls within 90 days of an election, many states are illegally using the Social Security database rather than state-maintained databases, which are more current, to verify the identity and eligibility of voters. Federal law states that Social Security information should be used to screen registration applications only in the event that registrants are missing from state-maintained databases. According to the article, people who are newly registering to vote, who have recently moved within the state, or who have neglected to vote over the past several election cycles are most at risk of being purged from voter rolls.
Tomorrow (Friday, October 10) is the last day to register to vote in North Carolina before the presidential election in November. So, all you registered North Carolinians out there: do yourself a favor and check out the “Voter Lookup” page on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website, where you can quickly and easily verify your voter registration status and information to make sure that everything is current and as it should be. (And it goes with saying that if you haven’t registered at all yet, you need to get on the good foot and make it happen before Friday is out.)
Here’s the link:
Those of you who aren’t lucky enough to live in the Old North State can check out a list of state-by-state registration deadlines and contact info for state BOEs here:
Update [10/10/08]: The News & Observer has an article this morning about how NC officials are handling the verification of new voters. — ellen