Counties Request Deceased Persons' Voter Status 9/6/12
CBS 7 News
September 6, 2012
Dead or alive? That’s the question many people had to answer, after checking their mail.
It’s all part of a federal law that requires counties to ask voters if they are deceased.
If they do not reply then their name is taken off the list of registered voters.
240 Ector County voters received a letter in the mail asking if they are still alive.
The Ector County Department of Elections Administration says the new law is meant to prevent fraud.
“My immediate reaction was “oh no” this is not going to be good because you don’t want to open up the mail and see that you are deceased,” said Ector County Elections Administrator Mitzi Scheible.
Election offices across the Permian Basin were busy answering calls from concerned citizens...obviously still alive.
“A gentleman called and said my wife is not dead, she is standing right next to me,” Scheible said.
The elections office says the system picks out voters who had names, or social security numbers similar to a deceased person.
“Its something we have to do to keep our records clean,” Scheible said.
So far employees say its effective. Some calls were to confirm that a family member has passed, but if you received one of the letters, you have 30 days to reply or you will no longer be registered and your November vote will be put on a provisional ballot.
“I don’t think it will deter them from voting,” Scheible said, “Especially when the presidential elections are coming up.”
Scheible says not to worry the voters on this list were counted when they voted in the primary elections.
CBS 7 also spoke with civil rights groups such as Una Vos Unida who says to their knowledge there is nothing controversial with these letters.
CBS 7 had a few people reaching out on Facebook who received these letters. Sandra Robinson writes “I called and received a reasonable explanation, no big deal, just one of those mix-ups that happens in life, was worried at first about what was going on but the people up at the elections office put my mind at ease.”