20 Aug 2014
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County Removing 1,000+ Deceased from Voter Rolls

State Board of Elections identified more than 10,000 deceased from voter registration list

County Removing 1,000+ Deceased from Voter Rolls

When the State Board of Elections recently identified more than 10,000 deceased voters on state rolls, more than 10 percent of those were from Fairfax County, according to Cameron Quinn, the county's chief elections officer.

In all, the state identified 1,038 dead voters on Fairfax County's registered voters list, Quinn said Thursday. 

The county is continually working to remove deceased voters from the rolls, she said. Since Jan. 1, the county has removed 2,812 deceased voters from the list, Quinn said.

Throughout the year, the State Board of Elections sends the county what appear to be deceased voters based on a state level match of the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Vital Statistics’ list and the voter registration list, according to Quinn, "which we then investigate and remove."  

The State Board of Elections' latest list of 10,000 came about when they compared a list of deceased from the Social Security Administration's death master file against voting rolls in Virginia.

"We always send a letter regarding the cancellation, just in case there is an error in what was provided us," she said. "Also, if on Election Day we get a spouse reporting a death, and they attest to it on a form we provide the polling place, we will also remove based on that attestation." 

Of those 2,812 removed by the county so far this year, some of those — about 100 — were among the 1,038 batch of deceased voters recently identified by the state board, she said. They are now reviewing and processing that list as well.

"We have not finished and gone through and taken them all off yet," she said. "We don't just hit a button and 'poof' they're all gone."

Local registrars across the state are now in the process of removing the names they received from the state board.

Secretary of the State Board of Elections Don Palmer was encouraged by these efforts: "Virginia is committed to ensuring only eligible voters are registered to vote. The State Board of Elections’ efforts in utilizing the death master file has yielded significant results with the identification of over 10,000 deceased individuals contained in the voter rolls. Virginia will continue to work to ensure those deceased or ineligible to vote are removed timely from the voter rolls.”

Election Day is Nov. 6.

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