Many county voters on inactive list

Published 3:20 pm Thursday, June 10, 2010

Approximately 325 Chilton County voters who participated in the Primary Election had to update their voter ID information because they were on the inactive voter list. That’s too many, according to the Chilton County Board of Registrars.

“This is a lot of updates for such a small percentage of voters,” said board member Pam Kelley.

While the BOR has more technology to file and update voter information, it’s still important for voters to complete the update forms mailed out by the state every two elections. This is especially true for those who have moved or married since the last election.

If voters fail to provide the information, they will find themselves on the inactive list the next time they go to the polls.

BOR chairman Donna Wyatt said it’s important to include a driver’s license number or the last four digits of one’s Social Security Number, in addition to birth date. Many inactive voters failed to provide this information when they filled out cards at the polls, she said.

As a result, it can be problematic to distinguish between voters with the same first and last names.

“It makes it really hard and time consuming to have to match these,” Wyatt said.

If someone’s name does not appear on the list but they know they are registered to vote, he or she may cast a provisional ballot by signing an affidavit stating that the person is registered to vote.

Provisional ballots are counted separately, placed in a box and turned in to the sheriff, who takes them to the BOR for research. Then, the canvassing board is told whether to count each ballot.

Six provisional ballots were cast in Chilton County during the Primaries, and five were counted, said Probate Judge Bobby Martin. One was thrown out because the voter failed to sign the affidavit.

“They made no difference in the county races nor the state races because everybody broke even,” Martin said.