Voter roll purged regularly
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Voter rolls are purged every day in Pearl River County to remove names of people who have died or moved out of the county, said Circuit Clerk Nance Stokes. However, large purges that remove the names of inactive voters only occur after federal elections, Stokes said.
Federal elections occur every two years and voters are only purged from the rolls after being inactive in two federal election cycles, for a total of four years of not voting, Stokes said. The last large purge of inactive voters was in December of 2018, Stokes said, because there were federal elections for congressional seats in November of 2018. In order to cast a ballot after being purged from the rolls, the resident needs to register to vote again, Stokes said.
“It’s not done lightly,” Stokes said. “We just don’t purge somebody to be purging somebody. We follow the law about the purge after the federal elections and the other is done when we have written documentation that they’ve moved or died.”
To remove someone from the voter rolls who has died, the county clerk’s office verifies that death using written documents like death certificates or an obituary in the newspaper, Stokes said.
To learn that someone has moved, the circuit clerk’s office gets information from several different sources, Stokes said, including from the Department of Public Safety, when someone has changed the address on their driver’s license. However, the office does not purge on that information alone, Stokes said. Instead, staff make attempts to contact people to verify they have moved, she said.
Other times the office is notified that someone has moved out of the county when they send back a jury summons, Stokes said.
Dalton said she encourages voters to know where they are voting and if they are registered because the rolls are purged regularly and mix-ups can happen.
Anyone who has recently moved within the county should contact the circuit clerk’s office to update their address to ensure they vote in the right precinct, Stokes said.
“If anybody has any questions about their status, contact my office, because now’s the time,” Stokes said.
The deadline to register for the primary election is July 8. The circuit clerk’s office will be closed on July 4 and 5 for the federal holiday, but will be open on July 6 from 8 a.m. to noon for voter registration and absentee voting, Stokes said.