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North Carolina: State will stop using SSN to verify voters

The News & Observer reports: After this election, North Carolina will stop using Social Security numbers to verify the identities of many new voters after questions arose this week about the legality of its registration practices.

On Thursday, The New York Times named North Carolina as one of several states that are checking the Social Security numbers of hundreds of thousands of new voters, despite federal laws requiring that the numbers be checked only if no state-issued identification is available. The Social Security database is plagued with errors, which could force some qualified voters to provide additional identification -- adding an unnecessary barrier to voting.

The need for more identification could cause confusion Nov. 4, an Election Day expected to bring unprecedented numbers to the polls. State officials say that, by Election Day, they expect to have registered more than 800,000 new North Carolina voters this year. About 218,000 were also taken off the rolls this year -- either because they died, moved or were convicted of felonies -- so the net gain would be about 600,000 voters.

State Board of Elections Director Gary Bartlett said he did not have numbers available Thursday of how many new voters might have been flagged for the November election because their Social Security numbers didn't match federal records. Since last October, 400,000 numbers have been checked, and Bartlett said that typically more than 40 percent are kicked back because they don't match the federal database. -- newsobserver.com | N.C. to change the way it vets its new voters

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