Tue September 23, 2008
Oklahoma voters lose their place on the rolls
By John Greiner
Oklahomans who haven't bothered to vote in any election during the past six years may be in for a shock Nov. 4 - they won't get to vote for president. State law, written to conform with the National Voters Registration Act of 1995, requires state election officials to purge the names from voter rolls of those who haven't voted or had any other election-related activity in the past six years.
Election-related activities could include changing parties, seeking an absentee ballot or notifying election officials of a change of address.
100,000 names removed Those whose names are purged aren't notified when their names are taken off the list, said Michael Clingman, secretary of the Oklahoma Election Board. But there's an easy fix to this problem, he said.
"Just call your election board and see if you are still on the voter registration rolls," Clingman said. If you aren't registered, get registered, he said. The deadline for registering to vote for president is Oct. 10.
In off election years, thousands of names are purged from the voter rolls, he said."Close to 100,000 were purged last year," he said.
Oklahoma has more than 2 million registered voters. Those on the rolls right now are safe from being purged this year, Clingman said.
Getting back on list Kathryn Page of Oklahoma City is one who just learned that voting lists are purged of people who haven't voted in six years. She lost interest in voting in 2000. "I have not voted since Bush got into office," she said.
Last week someone told her that her name might not be on the voter registration list any more. Page checked with the county election board. Sure enough, she wasn't on the list.
"I was registered today," she said on Friday.
She immediately began working as a volunteer registering people to vote.