Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Trey: We Check Our Voter Lists

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson responded to my question about the accuracy of Kentucky's voter registration lists, and a "notice" letter from an election lawyer who complained about the Commonwealth's supposed failures to purge the lists of ineligible voters. (See this morning's post, below)

I had asked whether the Secretary of State had received a "notice" letter from J. Christian Adams, Esq., regarding Kentucky's compliance with Motor Voter Act. Adams sent such letters to 16 states; private citizens have standing under the Motor Voter Act to sue states that fail to check their voter lists.

Grayson replied,

We just got letter at State Board of Elections today. He sent it to wrong person (Sarah Ball Johnson at SBE is not chief election official, I am).

We probably have done more list maintenance than any state in country. We were the first to match with other states for dupes. We regularly mail voters who haven't voted in several cycles to see if they still reside at registered address, starting NVRA inactive process. We also regularly purge felons and dead people including a recent match with Social Security Death Index which we hope to repeat.

We have either purged or made inactive hundreds of thousands of voters since 2003.

Not sure why we are on his list. We are probably a model state for list maintenance.

To be sure, any voter list will contain some inaccuracies. But Grayson has demonstrated an awareness of the issue and persistence in addressing it for the last seven years.

Suits by private individuals such as Adams would make good sense if (1) a state refused to clean up its lists -- thereby allowing live people to "vote early and often" using the names of dead people and (2) the Department of Justice failed to take action (not impossible, with Eric Holder as A.G.).

Given Grayson's methodical attention to Kentucky's voter lists, Adams should concentrate on the other states to which he sent letters.

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