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State moving to clean up voter list

727,000 postcards sent in plan to remove inaccuracies

– About 727,000 Hoosiers are set to receive a voter registration mailing in the next few days as part of a statewide effort to scrub the voter file of duplicate or inaccurate voter registrations.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson said the bloated list undermines the integrity of elections and artificially lowers turnout.

In the most recent election, statewide turnout was about 13 percent. But some counties have more people registered to vote than adults living there. Allen County is not one of those counties.

In May, 4.4 million postcards went out to all active registered voters. If voters received one and the information was accurate, nothing needs to be done.

But about 16 percent of those were returned as undeliverable – causing the need for the second mailing.

Lawson said voters receiving that postcard must confirm or update their voter information by July 24. If they don’t, they will be classified as inactive.

But this doesn’t mean they can’t vote.

If voters cast ballots in November, their records will be reclassified as active.

This is the same with elections in 2015 and 2016.

If voters don’t cast ballots in any election before January 2017, the county voter registration may then remove them from the poll lists.

Lawson said that nationwide, millions of dead people remain on voter lists, and several million people also have registrations in more than one state.

She said that county offices receive information from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, State Department of Health, Social Security Administration and Department of Correction to try to keep the lists fresh and accurate.

The legislature set aside $2.1 million to pay for the mailings that are the key part of the voter registration file update, Lawson said.

A similar process in 2006 resulted in removing 600,000 duplicate or inaccurate voter registration records from the state list.

nkelly@jg.net

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