Indiana Voter Purge Set To Take Place Under Secretary Of State's Watchful Eye

By Jeff Neumeyer

May 28, 2013 Updated May 28, 2013 at 5:23 PM EDT

INDIANA (www.incnow.tv) --- Inspect Indiana's voting rolls and you're sure to find names that shouldn’t be there.

We’re talking about people who've died, moved out of state, or are locked up in prison.

It's why there's a new campaign coming to identify inactive voters, and purge them from the lists.

The responsibility will shift from local officials to a top ranking state leader.

Indiana's Secretary of State has been put in charge of the new voter purge, and maybe more importantly, there's money set aside to fund the big task.

State lawmakers this year ordered that a statewide mailing take place every two years to verify and update voter registration information.

If a postcard comes back non-deliverable two times, then the voter at that address is removed from the poll list.

The legislature provided a little more than $2-million to pay for the first mailing that is set to take place sometime after July first.

County clerks around the state struggled to come up with enough cash to pull off such an effort.

" I mean, our operating budget is $15,000, so try to do a mailing in a uniform, non-discriminatory manner, to send out to 256,000 people. It’s cost prohibitive. You're talking about $115,000 just for the mailing," said Barry Schust, the Republican member of the Allen County Board of Voter Registration.

Keeping the records up to date is a constant battle.

Voter registration can't remove the name of someone who dies, unless the office gets notification from the board of health, or from a family member.

A lot of times such a notification slips through the cracks.

The process is complicated when an Indiana resident dies in another state, which can happen when senior citizens spend part of the winter months in Florida, or some other warm weather location.

In addition, if someone moves out of state, rarely does that information get transferred to voting officials.

The Indiana Secretary of State, Connie Lawson, says she'll have the advantage of comparing Indiana voter rolls to those of 22 other states participating in a consortium aimed at stripping out duplicate registrations.

The primary reason for maintaining accurate poll lists, according to Schust, is to cut down on the potential for voter fraud, which in the event of a close election contest can conceivably spell the difference in getting the right winner.

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