Thursday, March 22, 2007

Names and Addresses of Voters Need Full Review

The Fayette County board of election and voter registration commission need to meet forthwith to review all 80,000 plus names and addresses on the voter registry of the county. For decades, tattered registration cards comprised the documentation of who was registered as a qualified elector in the county.

That was changed via the state's compliance with new Federal law after the presidential election of 2000. Each state was to create a computerized database of voters. The state implemented what is called the SURE registry, and every county was to comply with transferring data already on registration cards to the new system.

Officials scanned existing cards into the computer database, complete with signatures. In addition, new voters fill out voter registration forms made available in a variety of locations, and there is even online access to that process.

The SURE system also involved a geographic information mapping system intended to pinpoint the correct voting district for locales situated on close boundaries between municipalities and counties.

Yesterday, during a noontime break in court proceedings Roberts vs Lally, I posed a question to Election Bureau Director Laurie Lint about the 70 addresses which were to be checked by EB employees.

Lint was to continue testimony regarding mismatched addresses, names on Lally petitions that were different than names on the voter registry.

Years ago, after 9/11, state law required a new address system for all the little byways and towns.

The local tax assessment bureau handled the process of implementing address changes which in turn affected the street and house numbers.

I asked whether it was possible if voters could put in a new street or house number on the nomination petitions which might vary with what the Election Bureau had on record.

Lint responded that was a possibility as not all of the addresses had been able to be updated.

Election officials need to remove all old addresses from the voter registry as well as names of persons who have moved from one county to another, or one state to another.

On another point, candidates for office obtain the database of names specific to their Party affiliation. These can be obtained on computerized disk and a printout hard copy of names and street address.

Couldn't a situation arise wherein an individual puts the current street address or house number printed beside his/her signature on a nomination petition, yet, the county voter database reflects a different address for the registered voter?

Court proceedings resume today at 9 a.m. before Judge Steve Leskinen.

States implement voter database

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