Voter Reference Foundation’s Gina Swoboda: Clean Elections Depend on Clean Voter Rolls

Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed Gina Swoboda, the executive director of the Phoenix-based Voter Reference Foundation. The foundation, founded by Doug Truax, posts the voter rolls from the states, with the goal of having the rolls from all 50 states posted – consistent with the 1993 Motor Voter law.

Swoboda said the foundation is not a fraud watchdog; rather, it provides the tools for Americans to monitor the rolls for themselves.


McCabe: The 1993 National Voter Registration Act called for all states to post their active voter roles so Americans can monitor the roles for themselves. Gina Swoboda, the executive director of the Phoenix-based Voter Reference Foundation, told The Star News Network her foundation was founded to fulfill the promise of that law.

Swoboda: The mission of the Voter Reference Foundation is to publish the voter registration rolls for the entire country online, for free, forever, for the public to access and do their duty in oversight of voter list maintenance.

McCabe: Swoboda said it is a good thing that states have been expanding opportunities to vote, but in general, they have failed to keep their voter rolls clean.

Swoboda: If you continue to expand the franchise and you don’t do maintenance on the list to remove people who have moved, people who have passed away, then you have just a huge amount of records that can’t be properly maintained.

McCabe: The hazards of an out-of-date voter list are then exacerbated when there is a mass mailing of ballots, she said.

Swoboda: And if you get into a situation where everybody gets mailed a ballot, now you have ballots flying around to people who are no longer at that address. That’s a huge potential problem.

McCabe: With mail invalids effectively blunting voter ID laws, election integrity advocates in states like Arizona are working to tighten up ID verification, she said.

Swoboda: In Arizona, we have a voter ID referendum that will be on the ballot that will add the date of birth and the last four of the social or the driver’s license ID number to these mail ballots so it’s not just this very subjective signature comparison.

If you have concrete, objective forms of identification accompanying a mail ballot, you’re in a much better, much more secure situation.

McCabe: Swoboda said The foundation, which was founded by Doug Truax, is a transparency project, not a fraud watchdog.

Swoboda: It’s not my role to identify fraud, to pursue fraud. My role at the foundation is more that of a library. I serve to provide the data to the public, and then the public has to do their duty. They need to own their voter registration records.

McCabe: Reporting for The Star News Network, this is Neil W. McCabe, Phoenix.

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