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Improving Voter List Maintenance

MI: Lawsuit Over Voter-Purge Ends; State to Stop Voter Purge Programs

Path Breaking Voter Registration Modernization Bill is Vetoed by Minnesota Governor Pawlenty

Minnesota legislators passed a landmark voter registration modernization bill recently that would, absent a veto, have registered or updated the registration of voters automatically when they applied for a driver's license, learner's permit or ID card.  It would also use information in motor vehicle and corrections databases to verify and maintain voter rolls.  This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Steve Simon and Sen. John Marty, would have made Minnesota the first state in the nation to proactively register voters, and made it among the most advanced in maintaining clean, accurate voter rolls.  The bill was designed to build on the state's already first-in-the-nation portability bill, which requires automatic updates to voter registrations based on changes of address.

However, Governor Pawlenty vetoed this historic legislation last week...

Universal Voter Registration: A New Initiative to Increase Electoral Participation and Reduce Voter Suppression

The elections of 2008 served as a critical test of the nation's election systems.  With changes in voting machines and procedures, coupled with expectations of record voter turnout, election administrators held their breath and hoped their system wouldn't fail. 

While the system didn't fail, voters faced serious obstacles in exercising their right to vote.  Voter registration ended up being the problem that affected the largest number of voters.  Even before the first votes were cast, it was apparent that our voter registration systems were woefully inadequate.  While in other nations 90% or more of the eligible voter population is registered to vote, in the United States less than 75% of eligible voters are registered.

We can do better.