Virginia election officials change process for removing dead people from voter rolls
The Virginia Department of Elections says it has “streamlined” the process of removing dead voters from the rolls by allowing local registrars to use obituaries to confirm deaths and creating a form meant to make it easier for family members to notify election offices after a death.
In a news release Monday, the agency said it had also reviewed the way it receives death records from the Virginia Department of Health. After looking at records going back to 1960, the agency said it had found a total of 18,990 deceased voters who had not yet been removed from the rolls.
“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,” the agency’s release said.
In an interview, Elections Commissioner Susan Beals, an appointee of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, said her agency discovered a computer coding issue while preparing to transition to a new voter system. The current system, she said, had trouble catching unattended deaths, or cases where someone dies at home without being tended to by a doctor. Such deaths increased during COVID-19 but can take longer to show up in state death records because officials have to take extra time to investigate the cause.
The release said some of the changes came in response to requests from local registrars.
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