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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Perils of Purging Voter Records

My father went to vote today, as he has nearly every year for the past 65 years. At the polling place, where he is well-known, Dad was told his name had been purged from the Virginia voter registration records. Virginia only had my name on the voter rolls. Like many sons, I have the exact same name as my father. The poll workers advised my father that he would need have a birthdate 30 years younger than his actual date of birth in order to vote using his name and address.

However, I could have voted in Virginia today. The problem with that is I voted early in Maryland last week. I have been a Maryland resident for the past 10 years, and voted in every Maryland election. The Virginia state government knows I am not a Virginia resident. The last time I voted in Virginia was perhaps 2003.

In the past my father could have gotten the issue resolved at the polling place and cast his votes today. But Virginia, a southern state, changed all the rules, supposedly to stop voter fraud. My father, a Virginia resident, was told he needs to go to the court house to fix his voter registration, and still would only be able to vote in the next election. He just went home and took a nap.

The GOP leadership in Virginia and other states really made all these changes to the voting process for reasons other than "voter fraud." It is widely known that southern GOP politicians, and Ohio changed the laws  and purged the voter records to make it harder for "certain groups" to vote. Those "certain groups" tend to vote Democratic in most elections.

The real irony of all this is that Virginia politicans stopped my father from voting today. Dad has been a registered Republican his entire life.