Cabarrus Board of Elections begins required voter list maintenance processes

Registered voters inactive for four-plus years should confirm status

Cabarrus Board of Elections begins required voter list maintenance processes
Registered voters inactive for four-plus years should confirm status (Source: WBTV File)

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Cabarrus County Board of Elections has begun a routine voter list maintenance process, as required by state and federal laws. To keep voter rolls accurate and up to date, local officials are tasked with removing voters who have moved, died or are otherwise ineligible to vote in Cabarrus County. Those who have been inactive for four or more years are required to confirm their status.

According to NC State Board of Elections officials, voter roll list maintenance ensures ineligible voters are not included on poll books, reduces the possibility for poll worker error and decreases opportunities for fraud.

Cabarrus County Elections Director Carol Soles said more than 6,000 local registered voters will receive confirmation cards in the mail this week. Recipients will have 30 days to respond.

“If an individual has not voted, responded to confirmation mailings or contacted our offices in the last four years, they will be made inactive,” Soles said. “Those who have gone eight years without contact will be removed. It’s important for our community to participate in this process. Simply acknowledging you are properly registered and your address is correct could help avoid confusion at election time.”

Voters may check their registration status at any time using the State Board’s Voter Search Tool: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup.

Official state mandates and information on reactivating your status

Biennial List Maintenance (No-contact process)

In the early part of every odd-numbered year, if a county board of elections has had no contact with a voter for two federal election cycles – a total of four years – and the voter has not voted during that time, it will send the voter a forwardable address confirmation mailing. The voter will be required to return the confirmation mailing within 30 days.

If the voter does not return the mailing or the U.S. Postal Service returns it to the county board as undeliverable, then the voter’s record will be marked “inactive” in the state’s voter registration database. Inactive voters are still registered voters. If an inactive voter shows up to vote, the person will be asked to verify their address and update it, if necessary.

County boards will send mailings this year to voters with whom there has been no contact since October 12, 2018.

The registrations of these voters will be canceled if they do not confirm their registration by 2023.

Removal of Inactive Voters

County boards of elections also have begun to remove certain “inactive” voters from the rolls. Voters will be removed from registration lists this year after being sent a no-contact mailing in 2016. Voters removed through this method have:

- Not made contact with county board of elections for four federal election cycles

- Not voted in any election during that time

- Not responded to a confirmation mailing

Any removed registrant must be reinstated if the voter appears to vote and gives oral or written affirmation they have not moved out of the county and have maintained residence continuously within the county. These votes will be counted, unless evidence exists that they moved out of the county.

National Change of Address (NCOA) Mailings

In January and July of each year, the State Board provides the 100 county boards of elections with change of address data from the U.S. Postal Service. County boards must send these voters postcard mailings to the new address to confirm whether they have an unreported change of address for voting purposes.

These mailings allow voters to update their names or addresses within a county or notify the board of elections of a move outside of that county. The voter is asked to respond to the mailing within 30 days. If the voter does not respond, the board of elections mails a traditional address confirmation notice to their existing address.

If the voter does not respond to that notice within 30 days, the registration status will be changed to “inactive.”

If a voter is deceased, a near relative may use the mailing to report the death so the county board can cancel the registration.

Additional List Maintenance Efforts

N.C. elections officials also routinely remove voters who have died from the voter rolls. Death notifications available through the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. County boards of elections also regularly remove voters who are convicted of felonies, using records from the N.C. Department of Public Safety and U.S. attorneys’ offices.

To learn more about registering to vote in North Carolina, visit: https://www.ncsbe.gov/registering.

N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles customers may register or update their registration online here: https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/offices-services/online/Pages/voter-registration-application.aspx

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