State removes names of inactive voters

State elections officials removed about 52,000 inactive voters from Louisiana’s voter rolls after November’s presidential election, according to new secretary of state office statistics.

State Elections Commissioner Angie Rogers said election laws require the purge of voter registration rolls once every two years or so, to remove the names of people who have not voted in the past two federal elections or any state or local race during that time period.

“They have never voted in any state or federal election,” Rogers said. “They are obviously not here or don’t want to vote.”

The individuals have had notices sent to the address listed on voter rolls as part of a canvass process prior to the cancellation, she said. “Their address has not been verified and they have not voted in over two years,” Rogers said.

Voter cancellations totaled 52,308 out of the 2.9 million voters on state election rolls in November. There were more women voters removed from the voter list than men. There were fewer Republicans than Democrats or other party registrants canceled.

In 2010, 121,826 voters’ names were purged from the rolls at the end of a grace period for those displaced in the wake for the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Before then, the next-highest number in recent history occurred in 2004, when there were 108,850 voter cancellations.

The lowest number removed recently occurred in 2008, when 44,739 voters names were scratched.

Rogers said Louisiana has a good record of voter registration, with 84 percent of eligible voters signed up. She said the state is one of the top five in the nation in eligible voters on the rolls.

Secretary of State Office spokeswoman Meg Casper said the elections divisions is trying to make registering to vote easy and accessible with online capability and sign-up opportunities at the state Office of Motor Vehicles, public assistance offices, high schools and the like.

In addition, Casper said, voters can check on their status online.