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Battles rage over new voters

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One high-profile concern this year involves a report that some states will use foreclosure lists to challenge voters’ registration status on Election Day – a tactic that could cause problems in states like Michigan and Ohio with large numbers of foreclosures. Republican officials in Michigan deny the report, but rumors have persisted, and the Obama campaign filed a lawsuit in September.

Other disputes have arisen, as well:

•In Florida, a new “no match, no vote” law invalidates voters’ registration if certain identification criteria – such as Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers – don’t match with other state databases. Advocates say it ensures the identity of voters; critics say thousands of eligible voters may be disenfranchised due to typos and errors in data entry.

•In Ohio, the GOP challenged a new law that allows early voting within the voter-registration window, arguing that allowing someone to register and vote on the same day is counter to state law.

•In Montgomery County, Va., an official was questioned about statements that seemed to dissuade students from registering in Virginia, implying they might lose tax benefits or scholarship eligibility.

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