Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Are You An Active Voter?

More than a third of the voters registered before last November's election have been taken off the "active voter" rolls.

This means that if you didn't vote in November 2006, you will have to make a specific request for a ballot.

If you haven't registered to vote at all, the last day to register to vote is Monday.

Denver Post reporter George Merritt offers valuable insight into an unsexy yet key question: that is, who gets a ballot?

The article, entitled Voters' List Idles 100,000, is excerpted below:
The Denver Election Commission has scrubbed more than 100,000 residents from the active voter list since November, creating one of the smallest such lists in recent years....

The change does not purge registered voters. However, only "active" voters will automatically receive ballots when the city sends them out early next month. Active voters are people who voted in the last general election - in other words, last November.

Councilman Doug Linkhart took issue with the move Tuesday, given what he called "extreme problems" during the November election...

Linkhart suggested the city mail ballots to the 287,000 active voters from the November election, instead of the updated list of 184,000.

But Election Commission executive director John Gaydeski said Denver's voter list needed to be updated.

"We had 52,000 ballots returned as undeliverable" in the January special election, he said.

Election Commission operations manager Matt Crane said the commission sent out about 117,000 cards to registered voters who did not vote in either November or January to see if they want to remain "active." About 7,000 people responded.

Assistant City Attorney David Broadwell said the commission had followed the law... But he acknowledged that he, too, had been curious about the low number of active voters.

He said the 184,000 ballots "may be the least number that we have mailed out in a mail-ballot election."

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Maybe democracy and I don't really get each other, but in my world, no price is too great to pay to get people to vote. We're plagued by long lines in voting stations (last November was the worst I've ever seen), confusing ballot issues, seeming cousins who run against each other, and now they've removed from their lists the very people they should be courting--the ones who are severely disenchanted by the voting process.

Stop making it harder.