CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — The Secretary of State and county clerks have been trying to clean up the voter rolls for three years. but the “Public Interest Legal Foundation” now says four counties have many more registered voters than they do live adults who are eligible to vote. The counties are McDowell, Mingo, Wyoming, and Brooke. Advocates worry the disparities could be targets for voter fraud.
“So, yes if you have a problem maintaining voter records, you are essentially offering yourself up as a soft target for someone that wants to cyber-attack your voter registration system,” said Logan Churchwell, Public Interest Legal Foundation.
But the Secretary of State’s office says the process of purging rolls is time consuming.
“It is certainly possible, because in West Virginia our laws protect the voters. You have the right to vote and the right to choose not to vote. So once you register to vote, you are on the rolls for four years. And even if you don’t vote those four years, you’re still going to remain on the rolls for another two federal election cycles,” said Deak Kersey, General Counsel, WV Secretary of State’s Office.
Even when voters die, move out of state, or are convicted of felonies, it takes time for clerks to find out and remove their names.
“Right now our connty clerks are removing thousands of names that are outdated, aren’t eligible, from the rolls,” said Deak Kersey.
As for the worst state in the nation, that goes to Kentucky with 58 counties with more registered voters than adults.
“So overall, Kentucky was just completely asleep at the wheel, and was racking up dead and relocated voter registrants on their rolls that were long gone, or were not showing up for the polls,” said Logan Churchwell, Public Interest Legal Foundation.
In all 244 counties nationwide have this voter disparity.
“The West Virginia Secretary of State says his office will continue cleaning up voter rolls in order to get the most accurate registration count, in time for the 2020 election,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.