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Ada County wrongly strips more than 750 voter registrations

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Hundreds of people in Ada County have been stripped of their voter registration when they shouldn't have been.

It all came to light when KBOI's Truth Squad received a call from a woman in Eagle, saying her husband received a letter that said his voter registration was taken away. When the Truth Squad began making calls, Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, said it alerted him to the magnitude of the problem countywide.

Charmaine Miller, the Eagle resident, read the letter her husband received in the mail.

"Dear David...you are currently registered in Arizona. Based on this information, we have canceled your registration in Ada County, Idaho," she said.

"We've never been in Arizona," Miller told KBOI.

Ysursa explains that the mix-up happened because for the first time, Idaho is taking part in the Interstate Voter Registration Cross Check program. Under it, Idaho and the 27 other states, cross check their voter databases.

If someone is registered to vote in more than one state, county clerks will cancel the most recent voter registration. In her husband's case, he had the same exact first and last name and birth date as another David Miller in Arizona. But the men don't have the same middle initial, and Ysursa says that should have been checked.

After Miller's complaint, Ada County found it wrongly took away 765 other people's registrations because of data verification error as well. The county has given all of those voters, including Miller, their registration back.

"If you make a mistake, you've got to fess up to it and do it -- both from our end and the county's end and rectify it," Ysursa told KBOI.

Ysursa says every clerk's office in the state will now be held to stricter verification standards, thanks to Miller being watchful.

"Mistakes happen," Miller said. "That's why I called to make sure it gets fixed and other people don't have that problem."

In some cases, Social Security numbers can prevent the cross check confusion, but on Idaho's voter registration form, you don't have to give a social as long as you list an Idaho driver's license number. In the David Miller mix-up, there wasn't a social for both men.

Anyone who has received one of the cancellation letters and feels it's a mistake is encouraged to call the county clerk or the Secretary of State's office to get it cleared up.

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