Culling Voter Rolls: Battling Over Who Even Gets to Go to the Polls

November 25, 2017 | | The New York Times |

Conservative groups and Republican election officials in some states say the poorly maintained rolls invite fraud and meddling by hackers, sap public confidence in elections and make election workers’ jobs harder. Voting rights advocates and most Democratic election officials, in turn, say that the benefits are mostly imaginary, and that the purges are intended to reduce the number of minority, poor and young voters, who are disproportionately Democrats.

“The goal here is not election integrity,” Stuart Naifeh, the senior counsel at the voting rights group Demos, said. “It’s intimidation and suppression of voters.”

On Wednesday, Demos and two other advocacy groups, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School, offered legal help to any of the 248 county election officials who tried to oppose the notice. [...]

“The right to vote is too important to treat as a use-it-or-lose-it right,” said Mr. Naifeh of Demos, which represents the plaintiffs in the suit.