Ireland

CHARLESTON -- In an attempt to gather missing voter identification information now required by the Help America Vote Act, Secretary of State Betty Ireland's office mailed notices to registered voters whose registration records lacked pertinent information.

Federal law requires that election officials in all states check voter registration information against the records of other government agencies, including the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Corrections, the U.S. Postal Service, the Social Security Administration and death certificate records from the Division of Vital Statistics.

Roughly 1.2 million West Virginia voter registration records were cross checked against other agency databases and 85 percent of the records were confirmed.

For roughly 193,000 registered voters, county voting registration records lacked required information, including driver's license numbers and/or the last four digits of the voter's social security number.

Last week, the Secretary of State's office sent cards to these voters, requesting the missing information. Registered voters are asked to provide the information by filling out the card, and sending it back to the Secretary of State's Office.

The Secretary of State's Office will note receipt and then forward the information on to the county clerks to update the voter's registration information on file. Voters may also mail or take the cards directly to their local voter registration office.

Soon, the Secretary of State's Office will send a mailing to those voters who, according to the U.S. Postal Service, have changed addresses in the last two years. These actions are required to comply with requirements of the Help America Vote Act.

"My office has been committed to providing clean and accurate registration rolls in every county," Ireland said. "Over time, we expect to see the number of voter registration files with incomplete information decrease dramatically until all files are up to date and fully compliant with federal guidelines. It is just one more step toward ensuring clean and fair elections in West Virginia."

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