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New Jersey Voters Wrongly Purged

Comparisons by new statewide databases generates mistakes possibly affecting thousands of voters.

Many things can go wrong in elections - including before Election Day. New Jersey seems to be the latest poster child for high-tech snafus. The AP is reporting that the state sent 300,000 letters to people telling them they were not registered to vote, but in many cases they are qualified voters.

The problem is not confined to New Jersey. Under federal election reforms passed in 2002, every state is supposed to create statewide databases of its registered voters. The problem is not just that these new mega-lists contain errors, as is the case in New Jersey, but what state election officials are doing with the data.

Steven Rosenfeld is a senior fellow at and co-author of What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election , with Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman (The New Press, 2006).

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