Many of the challenges discussed in this report that are faced by election officials in developing effective voter registration databases are ultimately rooted in the fact that election administration is largely a state matter in which the procedures and regulations governing the electoral process for voters are virtually guaranteed to be different from state to state. Whether it is desirable for greater uniformity among states regarding policies and procedures governing election administration is a controversial policy question. Advocates of greater uniformity sometimes argue that it would be more consistent with equal protection requirements. Greater uniformity might also lead to less confusion among voters who move from state to state. On the other hand, greater uniformity—if imposed externally by the federal government—may be seen as negatively impacting state prerogatives.
A more detailed discussion of the background and context for voter registration can be found in Appendix A.