They used an open process-generating a list, then making it public so interested groups could find errors.
Although liberals tend to be suspicious of these exercises, I had enough experience with maintaining name and address lists to be open to it. These days bytes are cheap, and computers fast, so there's less need to keep the list clean and purged of old data. But a clean list is still good:
- although the process of checking voter id against the list may be automated, as it is in Fairfax county, there will be times when a human has to get involved. When that happens the cleaner the better, so there's less likelihood of confusion and mistakes.
- although fraud--impersonating a voter--is vanishingly rare it can happen, and having dead people on the voter list is one vulnerability.
In my ideal bureaucrat's world, there would be a master register for all residents, so checking could be automated. But that's never going to happen in the U.S., so this open process seems to me to be the nezt best thing.