Back in September, we talked about the process of purging voter rolls because of mismatched information. This is the process being used in several swing states to match a voter’s registration info against computerized personal identification info, like social security info or driver’s license info. As we mentioned then, if a data entry person, keying thousands of bits of data per day, keys a person’s name wrong by one letter, their registration will be kicked out as invalid and they may not be allowed to vote.
An article Sunday at CNN.com verifies that this is happening in Georgia with, of course, Democratic voters. (Note: I have yet to see evidence that this ever happens to Republican voters.) I encourage you to read the full article. I’ll extract here the story of college senior Kyla Berry, who was looking forward to voting in her first election:
College senior Kyla Berry was looking forward to voting in her first presidential election, even carrying her voter registration card in her wallet.
But about two weeks ago, Berry got disturbing news from local election officials.
“This office has received notification from the state of Georgia indicating that you are not a citizen of the United States and therefore, not eligible to vote,” a letter from the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections said.
But Berry is a U.S. citizen, born in Boston, Massachusetts. She has a passport and a birth certificate to prove it.
The letter, which was dated October 2, gave her a week from the time it was dated to prove her citizenship. There was a problem, though — the letter was postmarked October 9.
“It was the most bizarre thing. I immediately called my mother and asked her to send me my birth certificate, and then I was like, ‘It’s too late, apparently,’ ” Berry said.
Berry is one of more than 50,000 registered Georgia voters who have been “flagged” because of a computer mismatch in their personal identification information. At least 4,500 of those people are having their citizenship questioned and the burden is on them to prove eligibility to vote.
So someone like Kyla Berry will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot when she votes, but it’s up to county election officials whether those ballots would actually count.
Berry says she will try to vote, but she’s not confident it will count.
“I know this happens, but I cannot believe it’s happening to me,” she said. “If I weren’t allowed to vote, I would just feel like that would be … like the worst thing ever — a travesty.”
We all know what happens to these provisional ballots: they get trashed. They do not count … ever. So, no, Ms. Berry, you won’t be able to vote.
For information on what you can do about voter suppression and voter fraud and what you need to do before and as you vote, see A little bit on voting.
Note: As I write this, I’m listening to Obama speak to a crowd in PA. He’s reminding us that we have to keep going. Speaking in the rain and calling on the post office’s motto, he’s saying, ‘whether rain, or sleet, or snow, we’re gonna keep going; we’re gonna see this through.’ Vote, people. No matter what the polls say, no matter how confident the folks around you, vote. The polls are only good if backed up by votes. VOTE.