60K outdated voter registrations purged in northeast IN

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2016 Election Mississippi Voting_219218

A voter takes advantage of the lull in voting to cast her ballot, at the Chastain Middle School in -Jackson, Miss Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana is purging more than 60,000 Northeast Indiana voter registrations from the rolls.

It’s called the voter list maintenance program. It’s a state effort to have an accurate picture of voter turnout.

The Indiana Secretary of State’s Office  announced 481,235 Hoosiers have been purged from voter registration rolls. More than 30,000 of those were in Allen County.

Voter Registration Board Member Maye Johnson said no one needs to worry.

“When you say purging most people think, ‘Oh, they’re just getting rid of people,'” she explained. “That’s not the case. There’s got to be a good reason before you’re removed.”

Voters who hadn’t updated their registration since 2014 or hadn’t voted since 2013 were sent multiple notifications in the mail to update their information. If they did not respond, they were purged.

Maye said it’s important that they maintain their records.

“If those people who are no longer eligible to vote for whatever reason are no longer in the system, it gives us a clearer picture of who is here so when you say, ‘Well, only 13 percent of the electorate turned out to vote,” that picture is going to be a lot more accurate if the database is as up to date as possible,” she said.

This in turn helps the board assign voting macines to precincts and helps candiates campaign more effectively.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson was in Allen County Thursday and said purging outdated voter registrations has been a priority for her since she took office in 2012. Federal law prohibits inactive voter registrations.

“First of all, it gives an inaccurate voter turnout percentage if we have an inflated list,” she said. “I think also If I’m a voter and I go into the polling location and I see someone that I know is deceased in my family still on the list, it doesn’t give me too much confidence that the elections are being run with integrity. So it builds confidence and it gives us a true picture of our turnout.”

Here are the number of names purged from voter registration rolls in northeast Indiana, according to the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office:

Adams 1,161

Allen 32,307

Blackford 1,020

DeKalb 2,969

Grant 5,733

Huntington 1,987

Jay 708

Kosciusko 4,905

LaGrange 1,496

Noble 3,013

Steuben 1,475

Wabash 2,656

Wells 1,088

Whitley 859

People wanting to register, updater or verify their voter registration information can do so at www.indianavoters.com.

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