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Voter Registration is a Key Element in Stoping Voter Fraud

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Introduction

Voter registration lists-lists of eligible voters-form the foundation for nearly everything in election administration, and they are constantly changing as new registrants are added and existing registrants move or otherwise become ineligible. Because of the lists' importance and constant movement, all states take steps to keep their voter registration rolls accurate and current. This process is called list maintenance. Proper management of voter registration lists is required to stop voter fraud.


Key Takeaways: Benefits of Having Accurate Registration

  • Protects against fraud by ensuring only eligible electors can cast a ballot.

  • Informs Election Day planning by helping accurately budget for ballots, voting machines, polling places, and poll workers.

  • Minimizes wait times at the polls.

  • Simplifies post-election procedures by reducing the number of provisional ballots cast.

List Maintenance and Why It Matters

Keeping voter registration rolls accurate and current is essential for efficient and secure elections. The benefits of having precise registration lists include the following:

  • Protecting against fraud by ensuring only eligible electors can cast a ballot.

  • Informing

Election Day planning by helping accurately budget for ballots, voting machines, polling places, and poll workers.

  • Minimizing wait times at the polls.

  • Simplifying post-election procedures by reducing the number of provisional ballots cast.

List maintenance is not a simple process, though, and a voter's registration may become inaccurate or ineligible in several ways. For instance, it's rare that voters who move consider their registration status; a short move across town may merely require an updated address in the voter registration database, but a move to another county or state may require a cancellation of the previous registration —something voters rarely do—and a new application to register.


Election officials need systems to keep track of these changes and others that may render a registered voter ineligible. Incarceration for a criminal conviction, for example, renders voters ineligible to vote in most states, and in many, adjudication of mental incompetence does as well. Election officials must also keep track of death records and promptly remove deceased voters from the registration rolls.





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