“We take every measure to ensure our voting rolls are legitimate,” said Janice K. Duff, Carroll County voter registration coordinator. “Georgia has stringent laws to prevent election and voter fraud, such as requiring a photo ID and verification of U.S. citizenship when a new applicant registers.”
Duff said the county updates its voting lists regularly, processing names from other states daily and making changes monthly from lists sent by the Georgia Secretary of State on deaths and felony convictions.
“Lists of people who die in the state are sent by all 159 Georgia counties to the Secretary of State,” she said. “They send us a list of names, which we confirm, and remove from our rolls.”
However, she added that the county is dependent on family members to inform voting officials of Georgia voters who die in another state.
Duff said lists of convicted felons, who are no longer allowed to vote, are handled in the same manner. The county probate judge also sends the registrar notices of people declared mentally incompetent and no longer eligible to vote.
She pointed out that all these lists contain date of birth and social security numbers so they can be accurately matched to county voter lists to prevent wrong names from being deleted.
The county also has a system to remove voters who become inactive from the registration lists.
“If you miss voting in two general elections, your record is flagged by the secretary of state,” she said. “We send a notice to voters, letting them know their names have been flagged. If they reply, we put them back on the active list.”
On election day, people with a questionable voting status can cast a provisional ballot, with three days to confirm their registration status.
Duff said all states have lines on their voter registration forms which ask if a voter has been registered in another state.
“When we get notices from other states, we remove the names from our list,” she said, “but if they neglect to put down the information, we have no way of knowing they have moved to another state.”
Eight states are starting a pilot program to share more voter information and databases to make their voting lists more accurate. However, Georgia is not one of the states. The program list includes the states of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Delware, Maryland, Virginia, Utah and Nevada.
While the potential for voter fraud exists, Duff does not believe it is very common in Georgia. For example, she noted that last year, only two cases were heard by the state election board for voters accused of voting in more than one state.