For Immediate Release:
Contact For More Information:
Andrea M. Gaines
Department of Elections Updates List Maintenance Practices for Deceased Voters
As part of the Virginia Department of Elections’ (ELECTs’) initiative to refine and update its list maintenance practices, the department has instituted a series of improvements to its current operations spurred by both feedback from the field as well as internal evaluations of existing processes.
At the request of general registrars, ELECT has streamlined the reporting of voters who are known to be deceased. A newly available form allows family members to report the death of a loved one to their general registrar directly. General registrars are also now permitted to use obituaries to confirm the death of a registered voter.
Additionally, ELECT has introduced a new tool that allows general registrars to lookup Virginia voters who may have died in another state. Through a national database, general registrars may now verify if the death of a registered voter occurred outside of the Commonwealth. In the past, general registrars experienced difficulties confirming the death of Virginia voters who died in out-of-state hospitals or facilities. This tool is particularly useful for general registrars who serve in areas bordering Virginia’s five neighboring states and the District of Columbia.
Lastly, ELECT examined its data sharing relationship with the Virginia Department of Health. After ELECT requested a review of all VDH death records going back to 1960, VDH discovered death records that had not been previously shared with ELECT. After additional data analysis by ELECT staff, 18,990 records of registered voters were identified and will be sent to local registrars for processing in the coming week. As a result of these findings and process improvements, citizens can expect to see a significant number of names removed from Virginia’s voter rolls.
“Maintaining the accuracy and security of our voter list continues to be a top priority for ELECT as the agency transitions to the new statewide voter registration system, said Susan Beals, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections. “Through new mechanisms for updating our voter rolls, the department is working towards a best-in-class data voter registration list with the most accurate data available”.