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Secretary of State purges 47,000 from West Virginia voter rolls


The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner has purged 47,000 outdated or ineligible voter files from the state’s voter rolls, including records of more than 1,100 felons.

According to Warner’s office, election officials worked with county clerks in all 55 counties to review voting data and look for voters who are dead, have moved out of the state, have duplicate registrations because of name variations, or who are registered to vote in more than one county.

“Being mistakenly registered in more than one county is not illegal,” Warner said. “The additional registrations are problematic because they create the opportunity for voting errors and unnecessarily clutters the rolls.

“Voting in more than one county is illegal,” Warner said.

Clerks also are working with the state Division of Corrections to eliminate convicted felons who are ineligible to be registered to vote while incarcerated. Over the past few weeks, county clerks have eliminated 1,170 felons from voter files, Warner’s office said.

Warner said county clerks will receive monthly reports from the Division of Corrections to keep better records in the future.

“Once we start, it’s much easier to stay on top of the list and to keep every county voter file up-to-date,” Warner said. “That’s one of the best ways to instill confidence into our elections.”

Warner said election officials next will do a national review of deceased voters whose records may not have previously been available. Warner also plans to work with other states to eliminate voter registrations in more than one state.

“People who used to live and were registered in West Virginia but moved to other states without notifying their county clerk to cancel their registrations could number in the tens of thousands,” said Steven Adams, assistant communications director for the secretary of state’s office.

Adams said the office is in the early stages of a complete review of statewide voting rolls that could take a year to complete.

Warner believes the office has made a good start.

“In just 93 days, we’ve proven that we can make great strides in cleaning up our voter files when we work together with our county clerks,” Warner said. “We still have a lot of work to do and I’m confident that we’ll get the job done.”

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