Secretary of State Mac Warner released some stunning figures this week during an appearance on MetroNews Talkline; the names of 47,490 outdated and ineligible voters have been removed from the voter rolls just since he took office. Warner’s office and county clerks used the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to clean up the rolls. ERIC allows participating states to compare voter eligibility records using voter registration and motor vehicle registrations, U.S. Postal Service addresses, and Social Security death records. Those 47,490 names were struck for a variety of reasons. In the most common instance, a woman changed her name when married, reregistered and was on the rolls twice. Others moved away and registered in another county or state, but remained on the books in their original location. In other cases voters were never taken off the rolls after they died.
The sweep also turned up 1,170 individuals who are serving time for a felony conviction and are disqualified from voting. (Voting rights are restored once a person has served their sentence, including all probation and parole.)
Some counties had more housecleaning to do than others. For example, Calhoun County canceled 7,143 voters, which constitutes 21 percent of their voter registration rolls. Cabell and Grant eliminated nearly 12 percent of their registered voters.