In this multi-part post, The Data Driven View examines the data-driven basis for the claim that inaccurate voter purges are on the rise given in the Axios piece below:
Axios: Inaccurate Voter Purges
Since the headline announces itself with the words “By the numbers”, it is fair game that The Data Driven View would scrutinize those numbers. Since “By the numbers:” is immediately followed by the word “Inaccurate” (with a capital “I”), it is fair game to scrutinize said claim of inaccuracy.
In this first post we will examine what is directly given in the Axios article and make some general remarks. Subsequent post(s) will go deeper.
The Lead Number
The article leads with a number presented by Axios under (“The big picture:”) – a 33% increase in purges. It is important to point out that this lead number is not a match to the Axios headline. The headline claims a rise in inaccurate purges. The article does go on to present some numbers that address the subject of inaccurate purges. We will take a look at that.
The First Three (3) Bullet Points
The numbers are presented in seven (7) bullet points presented in two groups: The first group is the first three bullet points. These appear to give national (USA) numbers though The Data Driven View cannot discern where the article clearly states that this is so. Like the lead number, none of these bullet points address the key subject of the headline – inaccuracy.
The Next Four (4) Bullet Points
Each of the next four bullet points are specific to a state: Arkansas, Virginia, Georgia, and Texas. These bullet points give the numbers in support of the key point of the headline – inaccuracy.
Subsequent posts will go deeper into the claims made in these four bullet points.
Non Data Oriented Post Script
Could it be that purges are increasing because previous administrations have neglected this perfectly legitimate maintenance activity and now increased purges are required to compensate for the neglect?
The Axios article claims that “malpractice” is the problem behind inaccuracy. Could it be that not only has the purging task itself been neglected, but also that the systems that would make accuracy possible have also been neglected or have never been correctly put in place at all? In other words, the “malpractice” may be a failure to do enough in support of legitimate purging – rather than too much purging.
If so, could it then be that an increase in purge activity is the solution – not the problem? We will address these questions in subsequent post(s) as they are inter-related to the claims made in the last four (pay-dirt) bullet points.
Conclusion for Part 1
To conclude this post we will only make a directional comment about the Axios article. Moving from the headline at the top to the pay-dirt at the bottom, the issue of inaccuracy appears to diminish rather than build. Subsequent post(s) will drive further into the data to determine exactly what remains when The Data Driven View gets to the bottom of this.