Election commission tallying voter verification cards

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com
Carter County residents wishing to exercise their voting rights in the busy election year of 2004 will need to verify their eligibility, according to election commission officials. Carter County Election Commission officers began mailing voter verification cards to citizens in the 1st District last week.
"We're having a good response of them coming back in," said Tracy Harris, county administrator of elections.
The cards have pre-paid postage and only require signatures of voters to verify their address and registration status. Mail outs will continue for all eight voting districts during the remainder of the summer. Citizens have 30 days to return the cards.
More than 30,000 county residents are registered to vote in the county's eight districts. State law requires county election commissions implement address verification programs to identify voter address changes. Counties must conduct re-verification procedures every two years.
The commission purged more than 3,000 voters from registration rolls earlier this month. Citizens who do not vote in two federal elections are placed on inactive status and subsequently purged.
If the election commission determines that a voter has changed his or her address, the administrator of elections sends confirmation notice to the registrant at the address of registration and includes a prepaid, pre-addressed return form on which the voter can verify or correct the new address information.
A law previously requiring an election commission to publicly list the names of purged voters was lifted by the General Assembly this year. The county election commission purged 2,236 registered voters during the 2001 verification process.
The Presidential Preference Primary and county party primaries will be held on Feb. 10, 2004. The state primary and county general election will be held Aug. 5, 2004 while voters will go to the polls for state and federal elections on Nov. 2, 2004.
If a citizen's voting registration is purged, he or she can return to active status by registering to vote at the election commission office. Citizens may inquire about their voting registration status by contacting the county election commission office at 542-1822.