Thousands of Ada County Citizens Told Their Voter Registrations Were Invalid

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Ada County elections officials are apologizing for a big error: telling thousands of voters that they weren't registered when in fact they were.

Earlier this week, 3,243 Ada County citizens were sent letters telling them that they were registered to vote in another state, invalidating their registration in Idaho. In fact, election officials confirmed that as many as 765 voters had already been canceled from the county systems.

"Voters who were canceled have been identified and reinstated and mailed follow-up letters apologizing for the  mistake," read a public statement from the county elections department.

"I want to apologize to all those who were affected by our mistake," said Ada County Clerk Chris Rich. "This error is being fixed immediately."

Election officials are pointing to a multi-state project which was intended to identify voter fraud by matching similar data in two or more states. The project cross-references name, birth date, and the last four digits of a voter's Social Security number.

But some Ada County voters told BW that they thought they had been canceled for the simple reason of having the same name as someone in another state.

Rich said he still supports the project "despite this error."

"Protecting our right to vote comes in many forms and preventing duplicate voting is one of them," he said.