WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Who's An 'Inactive' Voter? Checking In On Virginia's Voter Registration Rules

Play associated audio

Voters in Virginia have about six weeks left to update their registration if they have moved, because those who have moved and failed to update their registration risk being turned away from the polls.

It happens after every federal election: thousands of voters are purged from the rolls because they are inactive voters.

"We don't carry inactive voters indefinitely," says Tom Parkins, general registrar in Alexandria. "Once an inactive voter does not show any activity or any voting for two federal elections, then they get deleted from the list."

But being an inactive voter doesn't always have anything to do with how frequently you cast a ballot. It could also mean that elections officials have some reason to believe that a voter no longer lives at the address they have on file — because a piece of mail they sent to an address was returned, for example.

People who have moved risk not being able to vote in November.

"If I move from Alexandria to Fairfax prior to the election in 2010 and I come back to my precinct in Alexandria, I'm not going to be eligible to vote," Parkins says. "A voter is inactivated when we have some indication that that voter may have moved.

Being deemed inactive, or being deleted from the list, generally means voters are unable to cast a ballot. These voters are sometimes allowed to cast a provisional ballot, but it's unlikely that the ballot will count, Parkins says. 

That's why all voters who have moved since the 2010 election should make sure that their registration has their current address. The deadline for updating voter registration is Monday, Oct. 15.

NPR

He Died At 32, But A Young Artist Lives On In LA's Underground Museum

When Noah Davis founded the museum, he wanted to bring world-class art to a neighborhood he likened to a food desert, meaning no grocery stores or museums. Davis died a year ago Monday.
NPR

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.
WAMU 88.5

State Taxes, School Budgets And The Quality Of Public Education

Budget cutbacks have made it impossible for many states to finance their public schools. But some have bucked the trend by increasing taxes and earmarking those funds for education. Taxes, spending and the quality of public education.

NPR

A Robot That Harms: When Machines Make Life Or Death Decisions

An artist has designed a robot that purposefully defies Isaac Asimov's law that "a robot may not harm humanity" — to bring urgency to the discussion about self-driving and other smart technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.