Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
Indianapolis, IN - Today, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita applauded the decision of the state's Election Division co-directors to sign off on his plan to cleanup Indiana's voter rolls which are plagued by duplicate registrations, inaccuracies, and inflated with deceased voters. The cleanup plan, including a statewide mailing to all of Indiana's more than four million voter registration records, had previously been opposed by the state Democratic party. Rokita worked with the U.S. Department of Justice to secure a positive outcome for Hoosier voters.
Bowing to pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice - which agreed with Rokita's plan - state Democrats opted to sign off on the decree rather than undergo lengthy and costly litigation with the U.S. government. The cornerstone of the cleanup is a statewide mailing designed to identify and remove ineligible voters according to federal law.
"The need for this cleanup is indisputable by any rational person," Rokita said. "As my office, the Department of Justice, and statewide media have pointed out, when we determined that 19 of 92 Indiana counties have more registered voters than actual citizens, age 18 or older, we knew there was a problem. When our brand new statewide voter registration system found 290,522 possible duplicate records, we knew there was a problem."
Rokita's plan follows the timeline prescribed by the National Voter Registration Act and gives inactive voters two notices and plenty of opportunity to let election officials know they continue to live at their current address and want to stay on the rolls. Every voter in the state gets a mailed notice including election-related materials. If it is returned undeliverable, a second notice is sent that can be forwarded on to a voter's new address. If there is no return again, the voter registration is placed on an "inactive" list. An eligible voter can "reactivate" their status simply by voting in any of the 2006, 2007 or 2008 primary or general elections. If they do not, only then after 2008 will that registration be fully removed from the rolls.
"I am pleased that the state's Democrats have finally agreed to clean up Indiana's voter rolls in the manner which we proposed and prescribed by law," Rokita said. "While it is unfortunate that the Democrats' delay has wasted Hoosier taxpayer money on unnecessary litigation, I thank the Department of Justice for working with me to force them to comply with our plan. Unfortunately, their previous resistance to the cleanup has now greatly limited the time available to do it."