Letter: Kansas should end Crosscheck voter registration

It surprises many Kansas voters to learn that the state pays for a voter registration list maintenance program not only for Kansas, but for all 27 member states. Moreover, the system, Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck, is so vulnerable to a data breach that its database of 100 million Americans’ voter records could be “hacked by a novice,” per Gizmodo.

 

In response to this discovery, the Kansas Secretary of State’s office is reportedly reviewing data security issues and pledging to fix them.

Here is a counter proposal: Kansas should end Crosscheck.

Crosscheck member states - including Kansas - should instead join Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), an effective, secure and non-partisan voter registration list maintenance program. A single program with more members would provide more complete data matching, leading to more effective list maintenance. Consolidating may also encourage states not enrolled in a list maintenance program to get on board with ERIC.

Why consolidate around ERIC rather than Crosscheck? ERIC has state of the art data security, has no data reliability issues, is paid for by a cost-sharing agreement between all member states and is run by a bipartisan board of 12.

By contract, in addition to the aforementioned data security flaws, Crosscheck has poor data matching standards, is wasteful, risks denying Americans their right to vote and suffers from lack of oversight. Crosscheck is run by a single, partisan state, which opens the door to politicization of voter list maintenance.

In the event of a data breach, Kansas taxpayers would likely be on the hook for the cost to remediate. Crosscheck’s administrative and development costs are borne by Kansas. Kansas tax dollars should not be used to run, fix or protect this flawed, unnecessary program.

Kansas should not fix Crosscheck. Kansas should end Crosscheck and join ERIC.

ANITA PARSA, Mission Hills

 

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