The request is to enable the office of the Secretary of State, the state’s chief elections officer, to update voters registration rolls, said Donald Kersey, director of the Elections Division and deputy legal counsel for the secretary of state.
The voters receiving post cards appear on several voters registration list, he said. They may have moved and re-registered to vote, but didn’t cancel their old registration, which remains on the books.
The post cards are routine to help county clerks keep the registration rolls up to date, Kersey said. West Virginia participates in a network with other states and receives information that someone may have moved and didn’t cancel their old registration.
Voters may also have moved to other counties in the state or other places within the county, he said.
“These folks may not have left the state,” Kersey said.
While 130,000 seems to be a lot of people, it’s much fewer than a previous mailing, Kersey said. More than 300,000 post cards were mailed in 2015, he said.
Updating the voters registration information serves several purposes, including lessening the potential someone could vote twice, Kersey said.
Also, canceling the old voters registration reduces the total number of people registered and impacts the voter turnout percentage, he said. The voter turnout would be higher without the old voters registrations remaining on the rolls, Kersey said.
Voters who have moved can confirm the move and a new address, sign the card and return it to the secretary of state for processing.
The mailings went out earlier this week and people should start receiving them today and in the next few days, Kersey said.
Placing the post card in the mail will add postal expenses for the office, Kersey said. He recommends that the voter go online and update the registration information at https://ovr.sos.wv.gov/.
A voter registration also can be checked online at https://services.sos.wv.gov/Elections/Voter/AmIRegisteredToVote.