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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Barriers to Voting

As a proud member of the League of Women Voters, I am very disturbed by a report in the June issue of hte LWV National Voter. "New Barriers to Voting" points out that the 2004 campaign saw more effort being put into registering voters, but more recently access to the ballot box is being restricted.

The statewide database requirement in the happy sounding Help America Vote Act (HAVA) has been an excuse to "make it harder for eligible applicants to register. Voter registration drives are being restricted in a number of states by , among other things, requiring programs to sign up and get training from the state, sometimes at limited locations and times.

Washington State is mentioned in the "Rejection by Typo" section for its statute requiring rejection of applications by mail if there is no exact match with drivers license info. Applicant error, clerical errors in the elections office or DMV can exclude registrants in a process that was intended to ease a burden. Note that low-income and non-English speaking applicants suffer most, as they may move more often and have a more difficult time with the filling out of forms.


Project Vote
Brennan Center