Voter Registration Problems—and Solutions

Reports from a number of states this past Election Day found voters going to the polls thinking they had registered to vote only to discover they were not on the rolls. In some cases questions arose about whether and how registration applications submitted via department of motor vehicles offices or third-party registration groups were processed.

"It's just the nature of transferring the forms from a third-party agency to my agency," St. Landry Parish, Louisiana Registrar of Voters John Moreau told the Daily World.

A new infographic from the Pew Center on the States shows strategies that several states are already trying to address some of the problems voters and election officials face.

The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a multistate partnership created with assistance from Pew, allows participating states—currently Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, and Washington—to securely compare voter records to improve both their ability to maintain clean lists and the efficiency of their registration processes.  

Additionally 13 states now allow voters to register online, an opportunity which hundreds of thousands of voters took advantage of this election cycle. Both ERIC and online voter registration can help improve accuracy while reducing costs to states.

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