More than 3.1 million New York voter registrations are missing crucial personally identifiable information (PII), according to U.S. Reps. Claudia Tenney and Elise Stefanik, both Republicans from New York.
In a letter sent to the New York Board of Elections Tuesday, Tenney, who co-chairs the House Election Integrity Caucus, and Stefanik, chair of the House Republican Conference, urged the board to comply with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), which “prohibits states from accepting voter registrations without personally identifiable information.”
According to a report by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), approximately 3.1 million New York voter registrations — 23 percent of New York’s voter roll — are missing any form of PII. Social Security and driver’s license/state ID numbers all constitute valid forms of PII.
“Collecting PII from registrants is a critical practice for voter roll maintenance and election integrity,” the letter states. “PII allows states to verify the identity of any given registrant. It also ensures states can accurately maintain voter rolls when individuals file duplicate registrations, move to different states, or pass away.”
According to PILF, the New York State Board of Elections seems to be an outlier for failing to record the PII of voter registrants, as “nearly every other state disclosed extremely low missing PII totals.” Just in 2019 and 2020, 22,546 registrants without PII were added to New York’s voter rolls. And so far in this current cycle, 21,062 have been added.
As a remedy, PILF suggests the Empire State pass legislation similar to that of Florida, which established a procedure for the Florida DMV to share PII with the Florida voter rolls so they could be updated with any missing information. Tenney and Stefanik also encourage the board to follow PILF’s proposal.
“With the 2022 midterm elections rapidly approaching, we request a response no later than November 3, 2022, regarding your enforcement of HAVA §303(a) and how you will resolve New York’s noncompliance,” the Congresswomen finish.
Such a letter comes as polls show the New York governor’s race between Democrat incumbent Kathy Hochul and Republican challenger Lee Zeldin is tightening to uncomfortably (for Democrats) low single digits. Accurately maintained voter rolls are key to ensuring the integrity and security of New York’s elections — particularly for close contests like the governor’s race.
“The state should inform the public how it intends to correct nearly 3.1 million voter registrations that lack this personal information,” Tenney told The Federalist. “Improving voter roll maintenance is key to restoring faith in our elections.”