10 October 2008

States Deny Problems with Voter Registration

Kate Klonick - October 10, 2008

States reached out to reassure voters yesterday, after a story in the New York Times said that tens of thousands of voters were being blocked from registering or purged from state rolls.

Colorado, one of the states named in the story, has said they will review the process that has removed an estimated 37,000 voters from the state registry, but denied that the number was accurate.

"I have no idea where they got the numbers from," Colorado's Secretary of State Mike Coffman, a Republican, told the Denver Post.

Other states expressed confusion over the report and denied that they had widespread problems with their procedures.

Nevada's Secretary of State, a Democrat, assured Nevadans that, "any suggestion that eligible voters will be denied their right to participate in this election on Nov. 4 is false."

Michigan elections director Chris Thomas has said that only 11,000 voters were removed from Michigan rolls, a figure dramatically different than the 33,000 estimate in the Times report.

But it's important to note that both Michigan and Colorado repeatedly declined the Times request to make voter purge files public so they could be compared to the Times research compiled from state records. Both states also failed to respond to requests for comment on the story, days before it was published, but then provided their own sets of numbers on Thursday.


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