The Social Security Administration asked Ohio and five other states on Oct. 3 to look over their voter registration procedures and make sure they are following federal laws.
The bottom line is if states are following the law the laws are designed to protect the voter and make sure the voters arent wrongfully deleted from the list, said Daniel P. Tokaji, associate director of the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University.
The Social Security Administrations database verifies the last four digits of a newly-registered voters social security number when he or she does not have acceptable state-issued identification.
The Ohio Secretary of States office requested verifications from the Social Security Administration more than 740,000 times since Oct. 1, 2007, according to administration records.
The administrations records show that the more populous states of California and Texas requested 410,777 verifications, and 205,093 verifications respectively.
The volume of requests indicate the verifications of requests werent being done as contemplated in our agreements, said Mark Lassiter, Social Security Administration press officer. The commissioner (of the Social Security Administration) let the secretary of states know that they needed to look at that.
Each state has an agreement with the administration to access the Social Security number database to verify the identification of newly registered voters. These agreements are part of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
The act requires states to verify newly registered voters through state databases, such as the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, before using the Social Security Administration database when possible, said Tokaji, who specializes in election law and voting.
The meaning of the high numbers of requests to the administration is unclear, Tokaji said.
The Ohio Secretary of States office is looking into the Social Security Administrations letter and has not responded yet, said Jeff Ortega, assistant director of communications.