Dead voters taken off rolls

Published 9:06 pm Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Virginia State Board of Elections announced last week it had identified about 10,000 dead people still registered to vote.

The effort compared data from the Social Security Administration with the state’s current list of registered voters. About 25 percent of the available records have been compared so far, meaning there likely are more deceased voters to be found.

“Virginia is committed to ensuring only eligible voters are registered to vote,” said Don Palmer, secretary of the State Board of Elections. “Virginia will continue to work to ensure those deceased or ineligible to vote are removed timely from the voter rolls.”

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Suffolk Voter Registrar Susan Saunders said she does not yet know the total number of voters she will be asked to remove from Suffolk’s rolls because the requests come in gradually from the state. It does appear to be more than in past years, she said.

“As of right now, we had maybe a slight increase in the number of people we were advised were deceased,” she said, but noted it has not been a “tremendous influx.”

Sometimes, dead voters are removed from the rolls when a family member informs the registrar they are deceased, she said. The family member must provide proof of the death and sign a form, she said.

“When we make a change, we’ve got to document that,” she said. But the vast majority of removals because of death still come from the State Board of Elections.

Letters will be sent to family members of the deceased voter after the action is taken, Saunders said.

Despite the removal process, the voter rolls still are swelling because of new voters registering ahead of November’s presidential election.

Saunders said voters who are unsure of their status or don’t know where to vote should verify ahead of time by calling the registrar at 514-7750 or visiting