exclusively issues about changing computer systems, but also might require that states alter law, regulation, or practice.
Nevertheless, the Committee on State Voter Registration Databases believes that a number of meaningful changes of a nontechnical nature can be implemented in two areas in time to make a difference in the November 2008 election: (1) education and dissemination of information and (2) administrative processes and procedures. In addition, this interim report notes a number of actions that can be taken to support elections in 2010 and beyond, although states may wish to examine these longer-term actions to see if any can be implemented in the few months before the 2008 election.
These short-term changes and longer-term actions are directed primarily at election officials (voter registrars) at the state and local/county level. In some cases, the Election Assistance Commission has a useful role to play as well in facilitating and promoting their implementation.
Raise public awareness about the legibility and the completeness of voter registration card information. Jurisdictions could take some or all of the following specific steps:
Emphasize in the instructions for filling out voter registration forms the importance of legibility and completeness (for example, “Please print all responses; if your answers are illegible, your application may be mis-entered, rejected, or returned to you.”).
Conduct media campaigns emphasizing the importance of legibility and completeness in the information provided on voter registration forms.
Coordinate with third-party voter registration groups and public service agencies, emphasizing the need for their field volunteers to attend to legibility and completeness as they distribute and/or collect registration materials.
Resubmit match queries if the response returned from the Social Security Administration or department of motor vehicles is a nonmatch.
Provide human review of all computer-indicated removal decisions.
Improve the transparency of procedures for adding voters and for list maintenance.
Use fill-in online registration forms.
Perform empirical testing on the adequacy of processes for adding to and maintenance of lists.
Take steps to minimize errors during data entry.
Allow selected individuals to suppress address information on public disclosures of voter registration status.
Encourage (but do not require) entities sponsoring voter registration drives to submit voter registration forms in a timely manner to reduce massive influxes at the registration deadline.