Election Officials Say Legislation Needed to Address Millions of Duplicate Voter Registrations Nationwide

Jun 4, 2013

State Election Officials Say Miller’s Bill Updating NVRA Will Improve Accuracy of Voter Lists, Reduce Duplicate Registrations and  Reduce Administrative Costs

WASHINGTON – Committee on House Administration Chairman Candice Miller, R-Mich., issued the following statement after the full Committee hearing on H.R. 2115, The Voter Registration Efficiency Act:

“During today’s hearing, we heard about voters casting ballots in two states, states spending thousands to maintain duplicate registrations, and NVRA’s outdated provisions that prevent states from doing anything about it.

“Based on my experience as Michigan’s Secretary of State and the input of other state election officials forced to comply with the antiquated provisions of NVRA, Mr. Rokita, former Indiana Secretary of State, and I drafted legislation that updates NVRA.  Our bill gives states the ability to collect and share the information necessary to identify and prevent millions of duplicate voter registrations nationwide – an overdue update that will undoubtedly improve the integrity of our electoral process.

“I was encouraged by today’s testimony reaffirming this legislation’s ability to help states with this process without imposing costly mandates that would impact their respective list maintenance procedures. I thank our witnesses for their valuable feedback – it is crucial to this process and the success of any election administration reform.” 

BACKGROUND:
Introduced by Chairman Miller, former Michigan Secretary of State, and Rep. Rokita, former Indiana Secretary of State, H.R. 2115 requires new state residents applying for a driver’s license to notify the state if they intend to use their new residency for the purpose of voting.  If so, the legislation requires the new state to notify the previous state of residence so its chief election official can update voter lists accordingly.

A February 2012 study commissioned by the Pew Center on the States found that approximately 24 million – one out of every 8 – voter registrations in the U.S. are not valid or are inaccurate, and approximately 2.7 million individuals have active registrations in multiple states.

In addition to jeopardizing the integrity of our elections, duplicate registrations cost states thousands to maintain.  According to Michigan’s Director of Elections, Christopher Thomas, the cost alone of sending mailers to former state residents still registered in Michigan was approximately $13,000 in 2012.

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