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SOS says suspected computer glitch will not keep people from being able to vote on Nov. 6

Voters in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Paulette Parker
Michigan Radio
Voters in Ypsilanti, Mich.

The Michigan Secretary of State has confirmed that a computer glitch, first noted by Progress Michigan, appears to have resulted in many people's driver's license addresses not matching their updated voter registration addresses. It's not known how many people are affected yet.

The situation happened when people went to their local clerk's office to update their addresses. The information is supposed to be entered into two different databases - the SOS qualified voter file, and the SOS driver's license file.

But it appears the addresses were only entered in the qualified voter file database.

SOS spokesman Fred Woodhams says people should not worry about being turned away from the polls on November 6 because of the mistake.

He says poll workers are trained to verify a voter's identity by looking at the photo and name on whatever form of identification they present. But workers are not supposed to try to match the address on the ID with the address in the poll book.

"This will not affect absentee voters," says Woodhams. "It will not affect people who physically go to the polls. It will not affect voters, period."

Progress Michigan claimed the issue could potentially cause 100,000 people to be turned away on Election Day. The group says the Michigan Secretary of State has known about the issue for some time, but decided not to address it until after the voter registration deadline of October 9th.

Woodhams says the issue has been known for about two weeks. He says the Secretary of State decided not to send out a press release about the error, because it wasn't going to affect the election.

Woodhams says people affected by the mistake should get their change of address stickers in the next week or two. The stickers update driver's licenses so they can be used to verify someone's address.  

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.