Wednesday I got a "Voter Registration Cancellation Notice" from the county registrar:
"This office has determined that you are no longer entitled to be registered to vote in the Commonwealth of Virginia because you have moved to another state." Which was news to me.
So I called the county Registrar. Explained that I was still here, and asked why they thought I'd moved. She explains that Virginia has been cross matching voter lists with other states, and found that I was registered in SC. In 2009. Apparently that was the latest list they could get from SC, so they went with it. (I moved to VA in 2012.)
I explain this, and she agrees to send me another form so that I can re-register. Then she says that the State Government in Richmond generated a list of 350,000 voters supposedly registered in other states (at some time or another), and that they broke this list down by counties and sent them out to the county Registrars with instructions to remove anyone on the list. Those voters will have to call in and plead to be re-registered - if they can convince the Registrar to do so.
I asked the Registrar if this process wouldn't disproportionately affect military families, since they move so frequently. She said no, not if they registered to vote in Virginia on base or using the forms handed out on base - those registrations are somehow flagged and not subjected to the cross matching against other states' old registration lists.
Call me cynical, but I can't help but wonder - perhaps someone has done a study of the voting patterns of non-military people who move frequently? Could it be that they are statistically more likely than average to vote Democratic?
The county Registrar (a nice enough lady, BTW, and not exactly thrilled with Richmond's approach to this) was apologetic and reassured me that as long as I completed the registration paperwork again she would make sure that I got back on the roles in time to vote this November.
Bet some of the other county registrars aren't as helpful. In some counties, I expect that speaking with a Hispanic accent or African-American intonation when calling in to the Registrar will adversely affect one's odds of getting re-registered.
Wonder how many of those 350,000 voters will make it back on the roles in time to vote for Governor in November?
Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:22 AM PT: Some details that I should have included: I checked with the state of SC immediately after talking to the registrar in VA. I was told that my SC registration HAD been cancelled, in contrast to what I was told by VA.
Oddly, Virginia did NOT cancel my wife's registration, even though we moved from the same place at the same time. Don't know what to make of that.
I will cross-post this to Blue Virginia as soon as I can, and will contact the VA ACLU and the VA Dem party on Tuesday to ensure that this situation is known (if it isn't already).
Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 7:43 PM PT: Clio2 has much unearthed much more information - the issue seems to be an initiative called "The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck", and it appears to be a poorly organized mess. See Clio2's diary at http://www.dailykos.com/...