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Controversial Voter Purges Take Center Stage Ahead of 2012 Elections

With what many believe will be a very close presidential race in November, several states, including Florida and Texas, have begun a controversial process of purging names from voter rolls.

Cleaning voter rolls has long been a legal and systemic tool for preserving the integrity of the vote. The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires states to remove the names of ineligible voters from rolls. The Helping America Vote Act, or HAVA, also requires “list maintenance.”

However, the controversy emerges because recent mass purges have used faulty methods and inaccurate data to create purge lists replete with errors, targeting large percentages of minorities, young voters, and Democrats, close to or within election season.  The targeted groups are often attacked under the guise of purging convicted felons, dead voters, and most recently, non-citizens.
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