Sec. Of State Lawson: Purge Voter Rolls Before 2014 Election

Planning will soon begin for how the secretary of state‘s office will take over responsibility for Indiana‘s voter rolls.

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Photo: Bill Shaw/WTIU News

In at least nine counties, there are more registered voters than people who are legally old enough to cast a ballot.

County clerks are supposed to check periodically to confirm voters who have not shown up at the polls for a while still live where they are registered.

But not all of them have had the money to do it, with the result that at least nine counties have more registered voters than they have residents of voting age.

This year‘s legislature approved a law assigning the task to Secretary of State Connie Lawson instead.

Lawson says she does not have a guess how many invalid registrations there are, but says the last statewide voter cleanup in 2006 purged 300,000 names from the rolls. She says there are some options her office has which county clerks do not.

“We’ve got some things eligible to us that most counties wouldn’t have, like the National Change of Address,” Lawson says. “We just were able to compare Indiana’s list with 22 other states, which is going to be helpful.”

The legislature included $2.1 million for the effort in the new state budget. Lawson says she would like to finish the cleanup in time for next year‘s election, but does not know yet whether that is legally or logistically possible. The effort begins when the new budget starts on July 1.

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