As of Tuesday, the Democratic National Committee has created a new voter purge protection tool. In a press release, the committee mentions how this tool will contact ineligible voters impacted by voter purging.
Currently, election administration can use voter purging to remove people that may have become ineligible, recently moved, passed away, or those who have not voted in recent years. In this process voters are deleted from registration lists.
Reyna Walters-Morgan, the DNC voter protection director, mentioned in CNN that often younger people and communities of colors have been impacted by voter purges.
Federal law does require voter purges to be conducted before elections. An initial first step in voter purging can often be a post card sent to the voters current address to confirm registration. However, voter purges can often become a “flawed” process.
If not done correctly, voter purges have caused many eligible voters to be removed from registration list. If not careful with the data used and collected, voters often receive little to no warning.
Once a voter is removed from registration lists, one may not become informed of their registration status until their arrival at the polls. This leaves voters either ineligible to vote or left with only a provisional ballot.
In an effort to ensure voter purges are not discriminatory and avoid disenfranchisement, the Brennan Center conducts research and monitors voter purges. Between 2014 and 2016, it was found that 16 million voters were removed from registration list, a 33 percent increase since 2006 and 2008.
Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez mentions, “This innovative tool brings the work of our data, voter protection and organizing teams together to protect the right of every American to participate in our democracy.”
To avoid voter suppression, Democratic campaigns and state parties will be able to target any calls, texts, and mail deliveries to individuals that have been marked with an ineligible status resulting from a voter purge. The current tool also includes functions for voter roll monitoring, data breakdowns, voter contact, and trend analysis.
In the Democratic committee press release Walters-Morgan stated, “The fight against voter suppression has never been more urgent.”