Read: A Growing Threat To The Right To Vote
Voter purges are on the rise across the country. A new Brennan Center report finds that states removed almost 16 million voters from the rolls between 2014 and 2016 — an increase of 33% from a decade ago.
From the report from Brennan Center for Justice:
"Texas is an example of a bad purge caused by flawed data matching. In 2012, Texas officials conducted a purge of voters presumed to be dead. According to a representative from the Texas secretary of state’s office, the purge was driven by a comparison of Texas voters’ information to the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File — the first time Texas had conducted such an exercise.
Matching to the Death Master File was required under a then-new Texas law (H.B. 174) mandating election officials to obtain such information about potentially deceased voters quarterly.
While the 2008 Brennan Center report on voter purges showed that the Death Master File can contain errors, the problem in Texas occurred because the state used what are called “weak” matches (meaning that the chances that the person identified was actually deceased were too low to be trusted) to target voters without conducting any further investigation.
For example, a voter whose date of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number matches a dead person’s record would be a “weak” match.
On these grounds, a living Texas voter (and Air Force veteran) named James Harris, Jr., was flagged for removal because he shared information with an Arkansan, “James Harris,” who had died in 1996.
According to one analysis, more than 68,000 of the 80,000 voters identified as possibly dead were weak matches.
This policy of flagging voters based on a weak match without further investigation was eventually changed when Texas settled litigation that had arisen on account of the bad purge."