Melissa Helps Improve Accuracy of Voter Registration Roll

May 15, 2020

Melissa introduced its data enhancement solutions are being leveraged across the country by a large number of election boards and registrars of voters to improve election integrity prior to the U.S. general election in November. The increasing popularity of vote-by-mail options, combined with the vast number of people who move to new addresses between elections, has driven greater awareness of the complexities of maintaining election integrity. Election officials are faced with improving the accuracy of voter rolls and reducing the waste and cost of undeliverable mail, as well as avoiding potential voter disenfranchisement when election materials aren’t received.

Sophisticated data management is a priority; however, many data tools lack the comprehensive approach required to perfect voter files. In a sweeping effort to help jurisdictions tackle these issues, Melissa is offering free data optimization services that improve registered voter rolls and foster fair election processes.

While NCOA (National Change of Address) processing and participation in ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center) can assist in rectifying some address information, these are incomplete measures to perfecting a voter roll. Melissa solutions update voter contact information and dedupe voter roll data, uniquely cross referencing data across a multitude of databases to provide real-time identity verification including name, address, phone, and email validation. With the determination of a registered voter’s most current address, election boards help maintain election integrity and fairness, and save taxpayers’ money.

“Millions of people around the U.S. move each year making it especially difficult for election boards to keep their voter lists clean and up-to-date,” said Bud Walker, Chief Strategy Officer, Melissa. “But this responsibility has significant impact on the fairness of any election. By leveraging Melissa’s data quality solutions, election officers gain the intelligence to determine whether voters on their registrars are truly eligible to cast a ballot. With this knowledge well ahead of Election Day, the officer can take corrective action as necessary to ensure election security and advance voter participation.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 31 million Americans changed residences in 2019. Of those, 11 million moved to a different county within the state and 4 million moved out of the state entirely. Although the Voting Rights Act prohibits “voting more than once” in an election, address changes are not universally tracked amongst jurisdictions, leaving a voter records dilemma that inadvertently permits some 2.75 million people to register/vote in more than one state.

With concerns around change of address and other issues, more election offices rely on Melissa’s comprehensive data tools to ensure their voter lists are correct and current. By blending traditional and non-traditional data points, these solutions enhance verification of voter eligibility and valid registrations. This newly-enriched information gives election bodies the most accurate data possible to improve their rolls—particularly valuable as vote-by-mail options gain more widespread consideration in the midst of COVID-19.

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