[EL] Only 33, 000, Not 240, 000, South Carolina Voters Lacking ID?

Justin Levitt levittj at lls.edu
Fri Dec 23 11:32:21 PST 2011

Actually, "hold the phone" for another reason as well.

Mr. Shwedo's memo lists the following categories of people making up the 
239,333 individuals identified in the original pass:
- 37,295 identified as deceased
- 20,508 identified as matching, albeit not exactly (e.g., "Chris" for 
- 91,466 cancelled when the individual registered for a license in a 
different state
- 4,551 cancelled for another reason
- 58,241 expired
- 27,272 without a recognized match on DMV rolls.

_If_ the data are accurate  (for example, that the records of deceased 
individuals aren't faulty, or that they were confirmed using something 
other than a match of name and date of birth),  and _if _the 91,466 
cancelled IDs represent individuals ineligible to vote in South Carolina 
due to residency, that still leaves not 33,000, but _90,064_ (the last 
three categories) individuals represented on the rolls but not on the 
DMV list of individuals with a current, valid state-issued ID.  Those 
with expired or cancelled IDs can't use those IDs to vote under the new 
law, which requires the ID to be current and valid.  (And note that this 
comparison does not represent the scope of South Carolina voting-age 
citizens without the right ID -- it's just an attempt to enumerate the 
citizens currently on the rolls without the right ID.)

For those of us who have addressed matching issues before, Mr. Shwedo's 
memo is also interesting for another reason: at least 8.6% (20508 or 
239333) of the original pool of "failed matches" were false negatives -- 
individuals who were in fact represented on each set of records but not 
captured by an exact match across lists.


On 12/22/2011 10:17 PM, Michael McDonald wrote:
> Hold the phones on that 33,000 number. South Carolina is going to have to
> follow NVRA purging requirements before they execute this gem at the end of
> the story:
> "Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said the agency will eliminate
> nearly 60,000 deceased people and individuals whose names didn't match DMV
> records."
> Only 33,000, Not 240,000, South Carolina Voters Lacking ID?
> Posted on December 22, 2011 9:50 pm by Rick Hasen
> AP reports.  The 240,000 figure always struck me as very high.  It will be
> interesting to see how DOJ treats this new analysis as it decides whether to
> preclear South Carolina's voter i.d. law.  The current deadline for that
> decision is Tuesday, but I wonder if these new data would allow for pushing
> that decision back further.
> Posted in Department of Justice, election administration, Voting Rights Act
> | Comments Off
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Justin Levitt
Associate Professor of Law
Loyola Law School | Los Angeles
919 Albany St.
Los Angeles, CA  90015
justin.levitt at lls.edu

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