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Arizona ends participation in national voter registration database

(AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s top elections official has removed the state from a national voter registration system that critics have called inaccurate and vulnerable to hackers.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs announced Tuesday that the state has been withdrawn from the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program.

“I am not willing to take any chances with the security and accuracy of our voter registration list,” she said in a statement, adding that her office will not send any information to Crosscheck.

“Arizona voters will not be put at risk of having their voter registration wrongly canceled based on inaccurate information.”

State Elections Director Sambo Dul sent a letter to administrators confirming that Arizona will not participate in the program and requesting that any data Arizona submitted be removed.

“Our office was assured that Crosscheck did not retain voter lists after running their comparison reports,” Dul said.

“Unfortunately, previously provided voter information could still appear, including erroneously, in Crosscheck reports provided to participating states in past years.”

Crosscheck, which was developed in 2005, compares voter registration lists among participating states to look for duplicates.

The program, which is run through the Kansas secretary of state’s office, is aimed at cleaning voter records and preventing voter fraud, but has drawn criticism for its high error rate and lax security.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas alleged in a lawsuit filed last year that “reckless maintenance” of the program has exposed sensitive voter information.

Arizona began sharing voter registration information with Crosscheck in 2009, but stopped in 2017 even though it hadn’t withdrawn from the program.

The state is a member of the Electronic Registration Information Center, a nonprofit organization that is managed by the 26 participating states.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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