Here come the latest purge demands

Looks like Judicial Watch released another tranch of NVRA demand letters.

Also looks like they’re still identifying allegedly non-compliant jurisdictions at least in part by comparing point-estimate registration data on legal domicile to trend-estimate ACS data on physical CVAP presence.

When I wrote about this particular comparison in 2017, it was bad science.  It’s still bad science.  Just to recap a few of the problems:

  • These metrics measure different things. Registration is about domicile, Census estimates of CVAP are about where you lay your head.  You can still be legally registered in a jurisdiction even if you’re not physically present there.  Two obvious examples, but there are plenty more:
    • Any member of Congress who sleeps most of the time in DC is probably registered in their home district but probably counted for Census purposes in DC.
    • And members of the military may be counted for Census purposes where they’re stationed, but can also be registered at “home.”  Any jurisdiction that sends a lot of people to the military, but doesn’t have a base, may well have more lawfully registered people than Census CVAP estimates show.  Not so kind to the troops to purge them while they’re serving.
  • These metrics are different types of measures.  Registration is a hard count of individuals, Census estimates of CVAP are survey estimates and projections. Among other things: the latter comes with a margin of error.
  • These metrics cover different time periods. The CVAP estimates are estimates over a (usually) multi-year period, often several years behind any current snapshot of a registration count.
  • And if the measure of registration entries includes inactive voters, those are voters heading off the list if they don’t interact with election officials in the near future – but that interim period is a safeguard to make sure that eligible voters aren’t kicked off the rolls by mistake.

To be abundantly clear: accurate list maintenance is good hygiene, and beneficial.  Inaccurate list maintenance based on flawed measures of problems is medical malpractice.

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