The Problems with a Voter Database and CrossCheck

July 5, 2017 (San Diego) When the Federal Commision on Election Integrity requested voter rolls from all 50 states, not only was this unprecedented, it raised concerns. Why? The commission was formed with one ultimate goal: To show that people not auihoritized to vote in the United States, are voting in the United States. The myth also claims that most of these votes, if not all, have gone to Democrats. 
According to Snopes this claim, which would be as high as 5.7 million, is false, Suffice it to say, those numbers would have given President Donald Trump the popular vote as well. All this is based on a widely discredited study, from 2014.
The study found a total of 38 people who claimed to have voted in US Elections, when they were foreigners. US Law does not permit that. According to Snopes: 

Out of the 38 cases from 2008 in which non-citizens claimed to have voted (or had a vote validated they didn’t admit to in the survey), the authors found five (as in, the number after four) cases of survey responses from non-citizens who both said they had voted and that Catalyst could verify as having voted.

Using this data, some modeling, and error analysis, the authors concluded that between 7.9 percent and 14.7 percent of non-citizens voted in the 2008 elections. They then simply applied this to the entire non-citizen population in the United States. The findings are as crude as they are controversial:

So what is the problem with the request? For the moment, let us ignore the privacy issues of states releasing sensitive data to a non encrypted site. The person leading the whole effort is Kris Kobach. He is the former Secretary of State in Kansas and he is a man with a mission. Simply put, it is not to stop Russian interventon in US Elections. In fact, Kobach is convinced that this is not rare, which 38 people nationwide would be. But that this is in the millions. It is not just foreigners. He is also convinced that felons are voting illegally, most of them coincidentally Blacks and Mexican American. 
How does CrossCheck work? It essentially allow all 30 participating states to share voter databases to prevent individual voters from registering in two states. On the surface it looks pretty benign. However, Mr. John Smith is a very common name. How many John Smiths are there in the country? It tends to kick out of voter rolls people with the same name in two different states. It tends to do it with minorities. It is a voter caging program. This system threatens the voting rights of democratic constituencies in particular.

According to “Health of State Democracies”, “50 percent of Communities of Color share a common surname, while only 30 percent of white people do,” so that in the Program’s flagged lists, “white voters are underrepresented by 8 percent, African Americans are overrepresented by 45 percent; Hispanic voters are overrepresented by 24 percent; and Asian voters are overrepresented by 31 percent”

This access to all 50 state databases could lead to an implementation of this program nationwide. It would end in the loss of civil rights for millions of Americans who tend to vote for Democrats most of the time. It is also going to be targetted at legal immigrants in the United States. 

“The Department of Homeland Security knows of the millions of aliens who are in the United States legally and that’s data that’s never been bounced against the state’s voter rolls to see whether these people are registered,” Kobach, a Republican, told Fox News May 14.
Kobach later continued.
“So, one thing that’s never been done before, that I alluded to earlier, is the Department of Homeland Security has a database of all known aliens, green card holders, temporary visas holders in the United States. And that has never been bounced against a state’s voter rolls to say well, hey, how many of these people, with this name, this date of birth, so you can get an exact match. How many of them are registered to vote in state A or state B?”

The commission was formed to find a problem that experts do not believe exist. But one that would help maintain Republcian control, even in areas of the country that are trending purple to blue. 

We are not the only ones to share this concern. The Wonkblog at the Washington Post raised this issue a few days back, They cited a study that shows how inaccurate the algorithms are. They also raised another point, After Watergate the Federal government cannot maintain this kind of data. It is the Privacy Act of 1974. 


Categories: Uncategorized

3 replies

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