Sometimes the most well intended actions can lead to disaster.
Such was the case when the Ada County Elections Office canceled voter registration for nearly 3,200 voters when they compared names of voters in 8 other states in an effort to curb dual voting. You can register to vote in only one location. Of that total 765 appear to have been cancelled in error.
Here are the details from the Ada County Clerk’s Office.
Under the leadership of the Secretary of State’s Office, Ada County is actively participating in a multi-state project to identify voters who are registered in more than one location. This allows each state to identify where an individual is properly registered and where they should be removed from the voter rolls to prevent duplicate voting. Idaho currently exchanges data between counties within the state to prevent multiple registrations. This project allows the state to exchange data between states and to cross check voter information including, name, birth date, and the last four digits of a voter’s social security number for identification.
As part of the project, earlier this week 3,243 of Ada County’s 202,515 voters were sent letters informing them that the county had received information indicating that they had registered most recently in another state. Therefore their Idaho registration had been cancelled. Unfortunately, a portion of these voters, 765, were cancelled in error due to a data verification error. Voters who were cancelled in error have been identified are, being immediately reinstated, and mailed follow up letters apologizing for the mistake.
“I want to apologize to all those who were affected by our mistake. This error is being fixed immediately. We are constantly trying to encourage voter participation and the last thing we want to do is to interfere with it,” said Ada County Clerk, Chris Rich. He also added “despite this error, I support the project and it is good that states are sharing information like we do within Idaho. Protecting our right to vote comes in many forms and preventing duplicate voting is one of them.”
Rich also told the GUARDIAN there were probably as many, if not more Republicans, affected than Democrats. The error was not politically motivated in any way.
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