Report

Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient

Evidence That America's Voter Registration System Needs an Upgrade

Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient
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Quick Summary

Research in Pew's report underscores the need for registration systems that better maintain voter records, save money, and streamline processes. 

ICI_not registeredApproximately 24 million voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or have significant inaccuracies, according to the Pew Center on the States.

Research in Pew's report, Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient, underscores the need for registration systems that better maintain voter records, save money, and streamline processes. This is an effort that eight states are spearheading with Pew’s support.   

The report highlights the challenges nationwide: 

  • At least 51 million eligible citizens remain unregistered—more than 24 percent of the eligible population. 
  • More than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters.
  • Approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state.
  • About 12 million records have incorrect addresses, meaning either the voters moved, or errors in the information make it unlikely any mailings can reach them.

ICI_voter registrationSince 2010, election officials from several states have been working with Pew on plans to upgrade their voter registration systems using advanced technology. This new approach consists of three elements: 

  • Comparing registration lists with other data sources, such as motor vehicle and National Change of Address records.
  • Implementing proven techniques and security protocols that use those data sources to better track and identify both inaccurate records.
  • Minimizing manual data entry by establishing ways voters can submit information online.

Report Assets

Date:
February 14, 2012
Contacts:
Stephanie Bosh | 202.540.6741
Project:
Election Initiatives
Issues:
Election Costs, Election Technology, Technology, Voter Registration

Related RESEARCH & ANALYSIS

PCS.PRODUCTION.1.20140221.1210 (PEWSUWVMWAPP02)