• Use automated name rooting (the process through which name equivalents are generated, such as “Bill” and “Will” for “William”);

  • Use automated name ordering (the process through which permutations of possible name equivalents are generated, such as “Lucia Vega Garcia” being represented as “Lucia Vega,” “Lucia Garcia,” or “Lucia Vega-Garcia”);

  • Provide wildcard matching capabilities (capabilities for performing searches on incompletely specified names); and

  • Use blocking and string comparators (comparison techniques used to generate a score reflecting degree of similarity rather than a simple “match-or-nonmatch” result).

L-9: Use commonly used unique identifiers for voter identification when available and when necessary privacy safeguards are in place.

L-10: Establish standards or best practices for matching algorithms.

L-11: Use the Social Security Death Master File and STEVE2 (when deployed) for list maintenance.

L-12: Use third-party data when available to resolve possible matches.

L-13: Develop procedures for handling potential disenfranchisement caused by mistaken removals from voter registration lists.

Long-Term Recommended Actions—Privacy, Security, and Backup

L-14: Implement basic practices for backing up important data.

L-15: Implement basic security measures.

L-16: Take measures to help ensure system accessibility during critical times.

L-17: Consider fair information practices as a point of departure for protecting privacy in voter registration databases.

L-18: Take steps to protect voter privacy when voter registration data are released on a large scale.

L-19: Review appropriate nonelection uses of voter registration data.

Long-Term Recommended Actions—Database Interoperability

L-20: Encourage and if possible require state, local, and federal agencies to cooperate with election officials in providing data to support voter registration.

L-21: Use inexpensive data export functions to facilitate data exchange.

L-22: Develop national standards for data-exchange formats for voter registration databases.


STEVE refers to the State and Territorial Exchange of Vital Events, operated by the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems. At the time of this writing (fall 2009), STEVE has not been fully deployed.

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