Qualified Voter File (QVF) Plays a Vital Role in Michigan's Election System

One of the unique challenges Michigan has faced is how to effectively administer an election system made up of election officials, administrators, clerks and poll workers from 83 counties, 277 cities, 1,240 townships and 256 villages.

Add to that more than 7.4 million registered voters and the magnitude of the problem quickly becomes apparent. With such a large electorate, even straight-forward tasks such as updating voter rolls when people move to new jurisdictions become labor intensive. Unlike many other states which keep election records at the county or state level, Michigan's voter registration and participation records are kept at the local level.

Given the size and complexity of Michigan's election system, one of the most significant developments to its elections management has been the Qualified Voter File (QVF).

The QVF is a statewide computerized system that has made a tremendous impact. Among its many benefits, the QVF makes it easy for the Department of State to accurately and quickly forward registration information from its branch offices to local election officials. The QVF also reduces the chance for election fraud. When the QVF was first developed, more than 600,000 duplicate and ineligible registrations were removed from the state's voter rolls.

In addition, the QVF eliminates much of the paperwork involved in tracking changes in voter registrations, making for a more effective and efficient process.

More than 400 communities are connected to the QVF server in Lansing through the Internet, including the state's 83 county clerks who function as a QVF source for about 1,200 smaller cities and townships. The QVF has been designed to assist local election officials with many of their duties, including petition and candidate tracking; keeping an electronic election calendar; and absent voter processing.

With the implementation of the QVF, Michigan has moved its election management system into the 21st century. Under the QVF, Michigan effectively meets the needs of a growing and increasingly mobile voter population while maintaining the integrity of the election process.