State starts Voter List Maintenance
The effort to maintain voter registration lists is a continuous one.
On May 20, the Indiana Election Division (IED) began sending out postcards to all active voters in the State of Indiana, which is the first step of its latest Voter List Maintenance Project.
A misconception of voter list maintenance is registrations are automatically canceled, or “purged,” should someone fail to vote for a specified period of time, when in fact it is the final determination in a long and arduous process which can take years before a voter registration in canceled off the list.
The postcard sent by IED Monday is the first step in the process. This card is sent to the mailing address of record for every active registered voter in Indiana through non-forwardable first-class mail. Included on the card is a statement informing the person receiving it that if they are the person addressed on the card, then no further action in needed, confirming their voter registration information is current.
However, those receiving cards for individuals who no longer reside at the address on the card are encouraged to write “No longer lives here” on the card and pop it back in the mail. IED has also covered the cost of return postage as part of the mailing, so no additional postage will need to be included.
Cards returned to IED with the “No longer lives here” declaration, or returned by the United States Postal Service (USPS) as undeliverable, initiate the second phase of the maintenance project.
This phase is a second postcard being sent to those voters which can be forwarded by the USPS to an updated address they may have on file.
This card gives the voter the option of confirming their current address, updating it to a new address or adding a P.O. Box within the same county, or stating they have moved to a different county, or out of Indiana entirely.
Those completing the response portion of this second card must also sign it to officially confirm the responses and return it to IED (also with postage pre-paid) no later than July 27, 2019 to meet processing deadlines prior to the 2019 Municipal General Election.
Cards returned to IED with responses will be then sent on to their respective counties for proper processing of the updates, should there be any.
However, if the USPS returns the second card to IED as also being undeliverable, county voter registration offices will be instructed to mark those voter registration profiles as being “Inactive,” which does not disqualify someone from voting, but is an indicator the voter may no longer reside at the location they are currently registered to vote.
Those marked “Inactive” will simply have to confirm or update their address the next time the go to cast a ballot, or may submit a voter registration application with their updated address information at any time.
What the “Inactive” status does do, for this year’s project, is start the clock in which a voter profile may be canceled down the line. If a voter with this status does not cast a ballot within the next 2 federal general elections, their registration may be canceled after that point. With the timing of this project, this means an “inactive” voter would still have the opportunity to cast a ballot in 2019, 2020, 2021 (if there are special elections) and 2022 and provide an update to their address information before their registration would be under consideration of being canceled.
Should a voter be canceled in 2023 based on this year’s voter maintenance project, which would be after two failed attempts to confirm they are at the address on their voter registration, along with not casting a ballot through 2022 or filing an updated voter registration application during that time, they would be eligible to get back on the list at any time by filing a new registration application with their county of residence.
For more information about this year’s Voter List Maintenance Project, visit https://www.in.gov/sos/elections/4103.htm.
Those wanting to check to see if their voter registration is current may do so at https://indianavoters.in.gov/, which is where new and updated registrations may also be submitted electronically.