Warner Says 100,000 Outdated, Deceased and Convicted Felon Voter Files Taken Off Rolls

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | August 23, 2018
Charleston, W.Va. – Secretary of State Mac Warner said today that he is very proud of the working partnership his administration has developed with the state’s 55 county clerks.  Warner showcased that partnership at a recent conference with the county clerks by announcing more than 100,000 deceased, duplicate, outdated and convicted felon voter registrations have been removed from county voter files since he took office.
The actual number of outdated voter files deleted as of today is 101,475.  Of that number, there were 4,944 removed in Harrison County by County Clerk Susan Thomas and her staff.

According to Warner,  over the last eighteen months county clerks have focused on cleaning up voter files using a cooperative effort with the Secretary of State’s Election Division – an effort unlike ever before. 
At a veteran’s lunch in Calhoun County last weekend, Warner said County Clerk Jean Simmers proudly announced that her office removed over 25% of the names from her county's list in just one year, the highest percentage of any county in West Virginia.

“My office has a sincere appreciation for what county clerks do, and we know that county clerks are focused on free and fair elections.  Most importantly, they know that election security starts with a valid, updated and accurate voter registration list.  Clean lists reduce opportunities for fraud, lower waiting times at polls, reduce campaign costs for candidates, and save money because fewer ballots need to be printed.  It will also provide for more accurate turn-out figures,” Warner said.

“The cleansing of the rolls is long overdue, not to mention that keeping voter rolls clean is mandated by Federal law. States that are not complying are being threatened with lawsuits.  Our efforts should keep WV safe from lawsuits given that our cleanup has reduced WV registration lists by about 8%,” Warner said. 
There are about 1.2 million registered voters in the state.

Warner noted that his Elections Division is using advanced technology and partnerships with other states to help county clerks identify duplicate and outdated registrations.  The Secretary of State’s office is now working with other states to determine if someone who was once registered in West Virginia is now registered in a second state. 
“If so, we move to rectify the situation.  We also check to see if anyone has voted in two jurisdictions.  We already have two convictions for individuals caught double-voting,” Warner said.

Additionally, Warner’s office now receives and shares with county clerks routine monthly updates from the Social Security Administration for death notices, and the Division of Corrections for convicted felons. 
"Conducting list maintenance is simply a matter of will,” Warner said, “And our clerks have been wanting to do the job all along.  I’m giving them to tools now to do the job, and they are performing beyond expectations.”
Warner emphasized that voter list maintenance is an on-going exercise for every county.

“Now that we’re getting on top of voter list maintenance, it will be much easier to maintain the files on a monthly basis.  I give great credit the county clerks for getting the job done, without complaints.  It has been a time consuming task over the last 18 months, and they have many other tasks to accomplish."  
"But, the people of West Virginia deserve clean elections, and voters should be proud of the work the clerks do to provide safe, secure elections. It is a team effort that is working nicely for West Virginia,” Warner said.

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