The 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) bars states, within 90 days of an election, from conducting a systematic program to remove ineligible people from its voter lists.
Under NVRA, Colorado might face an Aug. 8 deadline to remove names from its list, but Gessler said “there’s a real question as to whether that Aug. 8 deadline even applies” because if the state sends a letter to each person asking him or her to clarify their status, the voter verification effort won’t be a systemic voting list purge and therefore won’t fall within the NVRA’s window.
And a recent decision by federal district court Judge Robert Hinkle in Florida said the NVRA deadline applies only in cases of people who were originally properly registered – they were U.S. citizens – but were subsequently removed from the voter rolls due to their death or moving out of the state or having been convicted of a felony. Hinkle’s ruling makes clear that the NVRA deadline doesn’t apply to non-citizens who never should have been registered in the first place, Gessler said.
One of Gessler’s critics, Joanne Schwartz, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, said someone’s name might be in the SAVE system “because they accessed federal benefits while here on a green card, but since then have become citizens. Certainly it is not designed to be a voter database, it was created in order to address another nonexistent problem - that of unauthorized immigrants accessing Medicaid and welfare.”