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Some voters ‘purged’ from voter rolls October 27, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in News, Politics, Repiglicans, Voting.
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — College senior Kyla Berry was looking forward to voting in her first presidential election, even carrying her voter registration card in her wallet.

But about two weeks ago, Berry got disturbing news from local election officials.

“This office has received notification from the state of Georgia indicating that you are not a citizen of the United States and therefore, not eligible to vote,” a letter from the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections said.

But Berry is a U.S. citizen, born in Boston, Massachusetts. She has a passport and a birth certificate to prove it. Video Watch some of the concerns of voting experts »

The letter, which was dated October 2, gave her a week from the time it was dated to prove her citizenship. There was a problem, though — the letter was postmarked October 9.

“It was the most bizarre thing. I immediately called my mother and asked her to send me my birth certificate, and then I was like, ‘It’s too late, apparently,’ ” Berry said.

Berry is one of more than 50,000 registered Georgia voters who have been “flagged” because of a computer mismatch in their personal identification information. At least 4,500 of those people are having their citizenship questioned and the burden is on them to prove eligibility to vote.

Experts say lists of people with mismatches are often systematically cut, or “purged,” from voter rolls.

It’s a scenario that’s being repeated all across the country, with cases like Berry’s raising fears of potential vote suppression in crucial swing states.

“What most people don’t know is that every year, elections officials strike millions of names from the voter rolls using processes that are secret, prone to error and vulnerable to manipulation,” said Wendy Weiser, an elections expert with New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.

“That means that lots and lots of eligible voters could get knocked off the voter rolls without any notice and, in many cases, without any opportunity to correct it before Election Day.”

Weiser acknowledged that “purging done well and with proper accountability” is necessary to remove people who have died or moved out of state.

“But the problem is it’s not necessary to do inaccurate purges that catch up thousands of eligible voters without any notice or any opportunity to fix it before Election Day and really without any public scrutiny at all,” she said.

Such allegations have flared up across the United States during this election cycle, most notably in Ohio, where a recent lawsuit has already gone to the U.S. Supreme Court.

There, the state Republican Party sued Ohio’s Democratic secretary of state in an effort to make her generate a list of people who had mismatched information. But Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said generating such a list would create numerous problems too close to the election and possibly disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters.

The Supreme Court last week ruled against the GOP on appeal of a lower court order directing Brunner to prepare the list.

Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

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