Who's An 'Inactive' Voter? Checking In On Virginia's Voter Registration Rules | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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.

WAMU 88.5

A Conversation With American Ballet Theatre's Misty Copeland (Rebroadcast)

Acclaimed ballerina Misty Copeland joined Diane to talk about her remarkable career and how she is challenging physical stereotypes that she says keep ballet stuck in the past.

NPR

White House: We Have A Beef With GMO Regulations

The White House has ordered a review of the government's system for regulating products of biotechnology, including genetically modified crops. That system has been controversial from the start.
WAMU 88.5

Danielle Allen: "Our Declaration" (Rebroadcast)

For the Fourth of July: A fresh reading of the Declaration of Independence, and how ideas of freedom and equality have been interpreted over the years.

NPR

White House: We Have A Beef With GMO Regulations

The White House has ordered a review of the government's system for regulating products of biotechnology, including genetically modified crops. That system has been controversial from the start.

Leave a Comment

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