Friday, August 04, 2006

Felon? Dead? Vote Here!!

The State's online voter-verification system will not be operative for the Fall elections.

Department of Corrections' data on felons is woefully lacking:

None of the three lists can be plugged into the voter system yet, but workers have encountered the most trouble with the felons list. When the state tried to translate the list of 63,000 felons into a format the voter database can use, only 7,000 names came through. In addition, the Department of Corrections does not track all the information needed for the voter list.

For instance, the department rarely collects Social Security numbers and does not collect driver's license numbers. The department has also warned the Elections Board that many birth dates might be wrong because people sometimes provide false information, according to the Elections Board.
The department did not ask felons for their birthdays before 2004.

The list includes up to nine aliases for each felon, which greatly increases the chances of false matches, Hansen said.

A check of 7,000 entries on the felons list found about half of them did not include valid addresses.

John Dipko, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections, said the addresses in the system are helpful to probation agents but might not be what elections officials need.

Seems to me that DoC's procedures were pretty crappy for a long, long time--but after all, who cared? Little matters like SSAN's and birthdates weren't real significant in The Big House, right?

In addition, the dead MAY vote (but not in the Chestertonian sense of preserving tradition.)

...technical glitches and data problems will prevent the state's new voter database from being checked against lists of felons or dead people.

Investigators and auditors identified instances of felons voting and people voting twice, and raised the possibility that people voted in the names of dead people, in the November 2004 election in Milwaukee.

I'm sure that the Doyle Gang is paying close attention...

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