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“The problem comes when the procedures that are undertaken to clean the rolls are done in a way that threatened eligible voters with removal without enough time to correct errors, without the kind of oversight or transparency to reveal any problems in the identification process, and they’re being done in a haphazard way that’s prone to a lot of mistakes,” she said.

The definition of ‘reasonable’

The test for whether a state is meeting its obligations to keep voter rolls clean is whether it is taking “reasonable” steps.

Legal analysts said case law is still being developed on what that means.

But a number of states are hoping it includes agreements like the Electronic Registration Information Center, a consortium of states that share information with one another about voting rolls.

The District recently joined the center, which Ms. Robinson said should help because Maryland and Virginia are also members, and many people move among the three jurisdictions.

Colorado, one of the states Judicial Watch has targeted in its warning letters, is also part of the registration center.

Rich Coolidge, a spokesman for Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, said state officials are taking a look at the Judicial Watch warning letter and will figure out how to respond to the large amount of documents requested.

“I don’t think you’ll find a bigger champion than Secretary of State Scott Gessler here in Colorado of maintaining clean and accurate voter rolls,” the spokesman said, though he added that the legislature would prefer “the honor system.”

Iowa’s secretary of state office didn’t return a message seeking comment.

Judicial Watch sent inquiry letters to nine other states asking them for more information about their voter roll cleanup procedures.

David Becker, director of election initiatives at the Pew Charitable Trusts, which provided assistance in the formation of the Electronic Registration Information Center, said one in eight voter registration records is inaccurate or out of date.

In the seven states that started the information center in 2012, the system found 850,000 people who had moved but still had active registrations for their previous addresses.

Most of those moved within a state — meaning the state motor vehicles bureau already had up-to-date information, but it was never conveyed to election officials.

Checks using the Electronic Registration Information Center also found 23,000 dead people listed.

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