Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Brennan Center Visits Congress (Again)

Brennan Center Democracy Program Director Deborah Goldberg was in Washington, D.C. today testifying before the House Administration Subcommittee on Elections. She shared the Brennan Center's research on barriers to voter registration, unfair purges of the voter rolls, and the efforts to the Department of Justice to promote overly aggressive purges. Among other recommendations, she argued that Congress should:
  • Ensure that voters who provide information sufficient to determine their eligibility should be registered even if there are other omissions or minor errors on the registration form;
  • Provide notice to potential registrants of defects on their forms and provide an opportunity to correct the error;
  • Require transparency in the voter purge process;
  • Set basic standards for voter list maintenance, including protections for voters against erroneous purges; and
  • Improve oversight of the DOJ to ensure that pressure by the department does not promote unwarranted and unlawful purges of eligible voters.
As New York gets its statewide voter registration database up and running, these principles should apply here as well.

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