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Social Security Administration Blocking Voter Registration (cont'd)

BY Allison Fine | Friday, October 3 2008

I have an update on my post from this morning about the Social Security Administration. According to the legislative director in Senator Feinstein's office, the Senator sent a letter to the SSA on September 23rd asking for the postponement until after the election of the SSA's maintenance effort that will shut down its database for three days. Yesterday, the Senator received a letter back from the SSA refusing to change its maintenance schedule.

According to the SSA, this is the same time of year that it has updated their database for sixteen years. But, as the Senator's staff pointed out, this is only the second time since the (HAVA) regulations have kicked in requiring states to use the SSA database to verify citizenship for people without state-sponsored ID (meaning, mainly, driver's licenses.) It happened in 2006, but the voter turnout was not nearly as high then as it will be this year. A meeting is starting right now, 4 pm on Friday, in DC that the Senator's staff organized between the House and Senate subcommittees on election administration and a representative of the SSA to discuss this issue further.

The SSA shutdown has the potential to be a devastating blow to states and local municipalities that are frantically preparing for huge voter turnouts on November 4th. And, of course, to disenfranchise millions of voters who have done their part in filling out the voter registration paperwork.

Stay tuned, I'll report more when I hear it from the Senator's staff.