[Image courtesy of the Pew Center on the States]
Just a few days ago, I talked about the potential value to election offices of using outside data to update and maintain voter rolls.
That same day, my friends and colleagues at Pew released a new infographic (above) that attempts to quantify that value. Data from a recent EAC report found that about 15.3 million voters were removed from the rolls in 2010; of these, 6 million - or about 40 percent - were removed because of a failure to vote followed by failure to respond to a confirmation request as permitted by the National Voter Registration Act.
It's hard to believe that every single one of the 6 million just disappeared, especially since the same data shows that 3.8 million voters (about 25%) were removed for "moving out of the jurisdiction". More likely, a good proportion of the 6 million simply changed addresses and didn't know (or bother) to update their voter records.
Consequently, it would seem that better systems for keeping track of voters as they move around could help election officials avoid the time and disruption involved in attempting to contact and ultimately removing voters from the rolls.
Moreover, as the nation enters a Presidential election year, anything that reduces confusion (and resultant controversy) about who is and isn't on the rolls has to be a good thing.
Pew, using the EAC's data, has "sized" the problem - now it's up to the field to find a way to solve it.