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An U.S. Election Assistance Commission blog about the Election Administration and Voting Survey written by EAC research team members.


Election Integrity Stems from Accurate Voter Registration Data

Jan 31, 2017

On the last day of our month of EAVS, we want to highlight how the survey serves the EAC’s unique and important mission to promote the effective administration of elections across the country, to assist election administrators, and to serve as a voting and elections information resource.
 
There has been a lot of talk lately about the need for accurate voter lists. As part of the EAC’s work with election administrators, we know state and local election officials work diligently to maintain voter registration lists. That work is an essential part of protecting election integrity and providing those eligible the opportunity to vote. Our Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) collects key data from state and local election officials that provides snapshots of: 

How many people are on states’ voter lists
The status of voters on these lists
How voter registration applications are processed
How election officials reach out to registered voters to keep up to date records
How many registrants are removed from voter lists and why

For example knowing a voter’s registration status is a key step in keeping accurate voter lists and ensuring all those who are eligible to vote can cast ballots. Responses to the 2014 EAVS show that approximately 23 million registrants in the United States were listed as inactive. An inactive voter is a voter who has not voted in two federal elections and has failed to respond to an official confirmation notice mailed to the voter to confirm their status on the voter roll or the notice has been returned as non-deliverable.   The National Voter Registration Act allows election jurisdictions to move these voters to an inactive voter list and to eventually remove these voters from the voter roll altogether if they fail to respond or update their status after two general election cycles.  Until removed from the voter roll, these voters may still cast a ballot.
 
This is just one of the many data points EAVS collects related to the voter registration process and how officials work to maintain accurate and up-to-date lists. We look forward to continuing to promote effective election administration by providing this important data and more in our 2016 EAVS.

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