State Election Board Conducts Routine Voter List Maintenance
(Oklahoma City) – The State Election Board completed its routine, statutorily-mandated, biennial voter list maintenance on Thursday, April 15. The process removed 4,034 duplicate voter registrations and 110,973 inactive voter registrations from Oklahoma’s voter rolls.
The removal of inactive and duplicate voter registrations is a thorough, multi-step process the State Election Board is required by law to conduct every two years, generally occurring in the spring.
State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax (pronounced ZEER-icks) said the law that mandates the current voter list maintenance process has been in place for decades and includes clear guidelines for which voter registrations must be removed.
“Oklahoma’s voter list maintenance process occurs every two years and has been conducted in essentially the same manner since the mid-1990’s,” Ziriax said. “Maintaining clean and updated voter rolls protects our democracy by making it far more difficult for someone to use outdated voter lists to attempt to commit fraud or disrupt our elections.”
Duplicate registrations that were deleted matched newer registrations by the same person at a new address.
Inactive registrations that were removed were for voters who failed to confirm their address in 2017 and then had no voter activity through the 2020 General Election. (The 2017 Address Confirmation Notices were sent to some voters for one of several different reasons required by law, including those who surrendered an Oklahoma driver license upon being issued a new one in another state, or had a first-class mailing from the Election Board returned as “undeliverable,” or who were identified as a potential duplicate of a voter registration in another county or state, or who had no voter activity from the 2014 General Election through the 2016 General Election.)
Ziriax cautioned Oklahomans about misinformation regarding the voter list maintenance process that removes duplicate and inactive voter registrations.
“Oklahomans should be wary of misinformation that is sometimes spread online and on social media about voter list maintenance,” Ziriax said. "The fact is that voter list maintenance is not a new process. It is not partisan. It is a routine, necessary part of election administration, and it is required by law,” he said.
The removal of inactive voters is a clearly defined and lengthy process.
- First, a voter is sent an address confirmation mailing for one of seven reasons required by law.
- Next, the voter must simply confirm their address. If the voter fails to confirm their address, then the voter is designated “inactive.” (An “inactive” voter is still a registered voter and is still eligible to vote. A voter is returned to “active” status automatically by voting or by making changes to their voter registration.)
- Finally, a voter who is designated as “inactive” for failing to confirm their address can only be removed from the voter rolls if there is no voter activity for two consecutive General Election cycles after becoming inactive.
In addition to the biennial, statutory voter list maintenance of inactive and duplicate voter registrations, county election boards continually update the voter rolls by removing voters who are deceased, have registered in another state or county, or who are convicted of a felony, as required by law.
To learn more about the voter list maintenance process in Oklahoma, see 26 O.S. § 4-120.2 or visit the State Election Board website. Voters with specific questions regarding their registration should contact their County Election Board.
State Election Board Website – https://oklahoma.gov/elections/ovp/address-confirmation-2021.html
County Election Boards – https://oklahoma.gov/elections/about-us/county-election-boards.html