5K voters purged from the rolls
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 6:00 PM
Nearly 5,000 names were purged from the voter rolls last week by the Madison County Election Commission after years of inactivity.
A truckload of boxes sent to be buried held nearly 5,000 names that were purged from the county voter rolls.
According to District 1 Election Commissioner Timothy Jenkins, there are more people on the voter rolls in Madison County then there are people of voting age who live here.
Jenkins said the county is currently at 106 percent of the voting age population even after purging 5,000 names from the rolls.
Jenkins said his personal goal is to get the figures down to 102 percent by the end of the year.
Last week, the commission voted to purge 4,989 names on the inactive list. According to Jenkins, these are voters who have been inactive in the last two federal elections and the Commission has two pieces of returned mail at the given address.
In District 1, there were 3,134 names purged. In District 2, there were 926 names purged. In District 3, there were 929 names purged. There was no inactive purging in District 4 or District 5.
District 2 Commissioner Julia Hodges said some of those names purged last week were the result of work they did five years ago in attempts to clean up the rolls. Hodges resigned from the position in 2014 to run for Circuit Clerk and was re-elected to the position in 2015.
She said District 1 is so heavy because of the number of apartments in the district.
Hodges said if you don’t stay on top of the rolls “it’s like digging in sand.”
She said Madison County has always fluctuated between 106 and 107 percent of voter age population and was told the southeast average was 80 percent.
“After all the stuff we’ve done, we’re still at that point,” she said.
Hodges said they have a hard time getting inactive voters removed from the rolls in District 4 and District 5.
Last week, neither District 4 Commissioner Azzie Jackson Adams nor District 5 Commissioner Leroy Lacy submitted names to be purged from inactive or to be added to the inactive list.
Attempts to contact both were unsuccessful.
“The big question at the end of the year (is District 4 and 5),” she said. “If they’re not making them inactive.”
Jenkins said there are about 500 people in District 4 and 5 currently on the inactive list that haven’t been purged but there’s potentially a great number that could be placed on the inactive list.
He said there is one person who is 152 years old that is still on the inactive voter rolls, and he said it’s not a typo or clerical error.
Jenkins said since the state implemented Voter I.D. laws, the number of people over the age of 100 voting in the county has dropped dramatically. Last year, he said, there were 10 people over the age of 100 who voted. In 2008, there were 172. In 2012, approximately 70.
According to Hodges, there are currently 260 people over 100 on the voter rolls. She said some of those are still alive, but that’s only a small percentage.
The Election Commission asks that if a voter registration card is mailed to a home of a former occupant, for the current occupant to send the card back stating the individual no longer resides at that address.
Jenkins said that would help in some degree to getting the books cleaned up.