RD44 - State Board of Elections Annual Report on Voter Registration List Maintenance Activities - January 6, 2014

Executive Summary:
The Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) is pleased to report to the members of the Privileges and Elections Committees of the Virginia General Assembly on its annual Voter Registration List Maintenance activities. This report focuses specifically on SBE’s efforts to share voter registration and voter history data with neighboring states and the District of Columbia (DC) (*1) and also presents you with a brief summary of all of Virginia’s voter registration list maintenance activities.

In 2012, the Pew Center on the States (Election Initiatives) released a study titled "Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient - Evidence That America’s Voter Registration System Needs an Upgrade." The study found the lack of communication and data-sharing between states was causing the voter registration lists to remain significantly outdated and plagued with errors. The study found that approximately 24 million—one out of every eight—voter registrations in the United States were no longer valid or were significantly incorrect. More than 1.8 million deceased individuals were erroneously listed as voters and approximately 2.75 million people had registrations in more than one state. Further, the researchers estimate at least 51 million eligible U.S. citizens were unregistered, or more than 24 % of the eligible population. SBE’s own research confirms the negative impacts that inaccurate voter registration data has on the electoral system. In a survey conducted following the 2012 General Election, general registrars and electoral board members reported voter registration problems and inactive voter registrations as the second and third biggest problems encountered at the polls during the 2012 General Election.

Virginia is a nationwide leader and pioneer in working with other states to improve and keep its voter registration records accurate and current. Virginia is one of only two states (Colorado being the other) that has participated in both of the two major interstate voter registration data sharing programs: The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) and the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program (Crosscheck). The State Board of Elections was a founding member of ERIC and the first state on the Eastern Seaboard to join Crosscheck. Virginia enacted legislation enabling these important activities well in advance of most other states and continues to be a leader in modernizing and upgrading its voter registration system, particularly its list maintenance activities, to protect the integrity of its voter rolls.

SBE is pleased to announce that as of January 1, 2014, Virginia is engaged in formal voter registration list sharing agreements with all of Virginia’s neighboring states.
(*1) The District of Columbia is included as a state for purposes of references to the numbers of states participating in various activities discussed in this report.