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Registration drives said to lead to fraud

Nov. 2, 2012 at 5:53 PM

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Experts say voter registration drives nationwide may present more fraud than fraud at polls on Election Day.

Statistics from the California state legislature indicate that voter registration drives generate more complaints and more arrests than any other type of election-related activity, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Everybody likes to talk about voter fraud but it's really about voter registration fraud," said Darren Chesin, chief consultant for the California Senate elections committee. "That's where we constantly see stories in the papers of people actually getting arrested and prosecuted."

Experts say because state laws vary on voter registration, registering new voters is often left to political parties and activist groups.

Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, said registration drives are a valuable public service but, because they are often paid for by campaigns, the drives are aimed at signing up voters for the party that is paying.

"And they may also have an incentive to make sure voters for the other side are not registered," she said.

"What we really need," Weiser said, "is a system where government takes responsibility for making sure all citizens are on the rolls."

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