|To:||Voter Registrars/Elections Administrators and County Clerks|
|From:||Ann McGeehan, Director of Elections|
|Date:||September 27, 2010|
|RE:||Processing Voter Registration Applicants When the Voter’s Record Fails Live Check Verification|
This is to update Election Advisory 2008-08 issued in September of 2008, which outlined the guidelines for processing voter registration applications that “fail” the live check verification process. This advisory prescribes the process to be followed when a voter’s identity cannot be confirmed by the state, through the live check process.
- Before the county takes any action, first double-check that the county submitted the correct identification information to the state (confirm that there has not been a data entry error). If a record fails the live check verification, our office will post the corresponding driver/ID record to the counties’ web browser account at: https://team1.sos.state.tx.us/countydata/cgi-bin/index.cgp by the following day. The file can then be compared to the submitted voter record to identify the field(s) that did not match. The three (3) fields used to compare against the DPS database are:
- TDL/ID Number
- Last/Former Name
- Date of Birth
- If there has been no data entry error on the part of the county, then send the voter a letter (Notice of Incomplete) explaining the non-validation and ask the voter to confirm his or her identification number. If the voter responds within 10 days after receiving the letter and provides a corrected identification number, then resubmit the record to the state for verification. If the record is verified by the state, then the voter should be registered with an effective date of registration to be that of the original postmark date on the voter registration application. If the voter responds after the 10-day period, then the voter record should be resubmitted to the state, but the effective date should be calculated as of the date of postmark of the corrected information. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 13.073(c) (Vernon 2010).
- If the voter responds to the county’s letter within 10 days and states that the identification number that he or she provided is the correct number, then that voter needs to be approved and submitted to the state under the same process as a voter who has declared that he or she has not been issued a Texas driver’s license number or Social Security number. Under HAVA, a voter who has not been issued a driver’s license or social security number must be accepted for registration, but these voters must submit proof of identification when they present themselves for voting or with their mail-in ballots, if voting by mail. These voters’ names should be flagged on the official voter registration list with the annotation of “ID.” The “ID” notation instructs the election worker to request a proper form of identification from these voters when they present themselves for voting.
For those counties using the TEAM system, once the Notice of Incomplete is generated specific to failing the DPS live check verification and is issued to the voter, the county can then “approve w/o live check” to insert the voter. This will prompt the system to note “ID” next to the voter’s name on the Official Voting List. When offline counties resubmit the voter record to the state, the county must insert a value of “1” in the new field titled “Bypass Check” on the Voter Import to indicate the voter record previously failed live check. By inserting a value of “1” the record will bypass the live check and the voter’s name will be marked with an ID notation on the Official Voting list generated from TEAM.
The effective date of registration for these ID voters is calculated as of the postmark date of the original voter registration application. When you mail an ID voter his or her voter registration certificate, you must also mail the voter a Notice to ID Voter stating they will be required to provide ID at the polls.
If the applicant never responds to the Notice of Incomplete, the application is rejected on the grounds of incompleteness and a notice of rejection is sent to the applicant.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We know that you are receiving high volumes of voter registration applications and following these procedures will ensure that all voter applicants will be treated uniformly throughout the state. We appreciate your efforts to ensure that all eligible persons submitting a timely application are registered.