This article originally appeared on watchdog.org.
RICHMOND, Va.Â â€” Some 6.9 million Americans are registered to vote in two or more states, according to a report obtained by Watchdog.org.
â€śOur nationâ€™s voter rolls are a mess,â€ť says Catherine Engelbrecht, president of the election-watch group True The Vote.
â€śSensible approaches to roll maintenance are fought tooth and nail by radical special interests who can use the duplicity in the system to their advantage,â€ť she said.
The latestÂ interstate voter cross checkÂ tallied 6,951,484 overlapping voter registrations, and theyâ€™re just the tip of the iceberg.
The cross-check program involves only 28 states and does not include the three largest: California, Texas and Florida.
â€śDuplicate registration is an open invitation to voting fraud,â€ť said Clara Belle Wheeler, a member of the Election Board in Albemarle County, Va. â€śThis ability to vote more than once dilutes the legal votes and changes the results of elections.â€ť
The interstate cross-check program matches first and last names and dates of birth to identify multiple registrations.But the data are not routinely used to purge duplicates.
â€śIncreasingly lax standards in our election process produce increasingly unreliable results,â€ť Engelbrecht asserted.
â€śThe few conversations that are had about how to shore up these weaknesses are immediately seized on by certain politicians and special-interest groups as fuel to further divide American voters based on trumped-up race and class-based narratives,â€ť she said.
Engelbrecht saidÂ the â€śvicious cycleâ€ť can be fixed â€śif citizens wake up, stand up and refuse to settle for a broken system.â€ť
Jay DeLancy, executive director of the Voter Integrity Project of North Carolina, says the solution is as simple as one-two-three.
â€śFirst, tie registrations more closely to (each stateâ€™s) Department of Motor Vehicles. All voter ID cards would originate there,â€ť he explained.
â€śAs is today, when we get an ID card from DMV,Â we get registered to voteÂ â€” but turning in your former stateâ€™s ID card should revoke your right to vote in the state that issued it.
â€śSecond, make it a felony to possess a voter ID cardÂ â€” or any other DMV-issued ID cardÂ â€” from more than one state.
â€śThird, we would only be allowed to vote from the address on that ID card. If a voter shows up with the wrong address, the vote is provisional until the card is corrected,â€ť DeLancy concluded.
He added: â€śWe donâ€™t need a federal ID card to do this. In fact, it wouldnâ€™t require any more feds to be hired.â€ť
States, however, will have to tighten up. And that could be a challengeÂ â€” both politically and fiscally.
In Virginia, Wheeler noted that the State Board of Elections and Department of Elections â€śhave had their funding reduced greatly by the (Terry) McAuliffe administration.â€ť McAuliffe is a Democrat.
â€śWith reduced funding, they have a grossly limited staff and thus, will be greatly limited in the ability to do the cross checks and reduce voter fraud.â€ť
SBE officials, who provided the cross-check data in response to a Freedom of Information Act filing by the Virginia Voters Alliance, did not respond to Wheelerâ€™s assertion.
Watchdog previously reportedÂ Virginia and Maryland have 44,000 duplicate voters between them.
Two national voting-rights groupsÂ â€” the League of Women Voters and America VotesÂ â€” did not respond to Watchdogâ€™s requests for comment.
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