Virginia pulls out of multistate voter compact
Virginia will no longer participate in a multistate data-sharing program aimed at keeping voter rolls up to date.
Why it matters: The bipartisan, under-the-radar program drew little attention until it fell in the crosshairs of "election integrity" conspiracy theorists.
- Virginia's decision to join a handful of red states in leaving may be the biggest change to state election policy since Gov. Glenn Youngkin took office, writes the Virginia Mercury's Graham Moomaw.
What's happening: Youngkin's election commissioner, Susan Beals, raised concerns about the "confidentiality of voter information" in a letter last week informing the Electronic Registration Information Center that the state will no longer participate.
- She also cited "controversy surrounding the historical sharing of data with outside organizations leveraged for political purposes" — an apparent reference to the release of anonymized data to researchers, which each participating state individually approved, per NPR.
The other side: Democrats have lambasted the decision, noting Virginia was a founding member under then-Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.
- They called it especially important in Northern Virginia, where moves across state lines are common.
Between the lines: Conspiracy theories aside, mainstream Republicans have chafed at a requirement that compact members reach out to eligible-but-unregistered voters identified by the database in a bid to maximize election participation.
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