Some people don’t vote in every election, preferring to cast a ballot only in presidential election years. In Colorado, those voters are purged when they miss a midterm election, with their status changed to “inactive voters.” Inactive voters are still eligible to vote, but they won’t receive a mail-in ballot even if they signed up to be permanent mail-in voters. Democrats are fighting especially hard to change that just in time for the 2012 presidential election. Republicans have a much smaller share of Colorado’s inactive voters, and political watchers say the Democrats don’t want to lose any votes from President Obama’s 2008 supporters. Democrats say they’re not only concerned with “bandwagon” voters. “There are all kinds of reasons that people don’t vote once, and we’re going to basically take them off the rolls because they failed to vote once? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all,” Sen. Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) said. Health is concerned about people who miss an election due to military service or illness.
In fairness, inactive voters are not taken off the rolls, they simply need to vote in person or re-request a mail-in ballot. “If people don’t vote regularly, before they automatically get a ballot in the mail, they should ask for one,” Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R-Colorado) said. Gessler, who sued to block some Colorado counties from mailing ballots to inactive voters, argues he’s trying to keep real, live ballots out of the wrong hands. “That way, we’re not automatically sending out ballots to people who are no longer eligible or no longer live there, or people who might cheat,” Gessler said.
Democrats counter that the current system is misleading to voters, because the people in question have chosen to be “permanent” mail-in voters on the form they used to request absent ballots. “I mean, if I sign a permanent mail-in vote request, it seems to me that’s permanent,” Health said.
Full Article: Fighting over voters who don’t always vote | 9news.com.