Circuit clerk outlines process of purging voters from roll

Updated: Mar. 18, 2019 at 6:22 PM CDT
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FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The accuracy of registered voter rolls plays a vital role in elections every year.

The electoral roll determines who is eligible to vote and rids the list of anyone who is ineligible.

The Forrest County Circuit Clerk Gwen Wilks said her office is responsible throughout the year to make sure ineligible voters are removed from the system for whatever reason.

“We physically purge people, but the election commissioners are the ones who go through and figure out who to purge and they just send us a list and we do it for them,” said Wilks.

She laid out the main reasons the election commissioners would have to request a person be purged from the voting roll.

“One of the reasons is death. If someone passes away, then they’ll get it through the newspaper or different ways like that so that someone that dies will be purged,” Wilks said.

Aside from a person dying, there are other ways one could be determined ineligible to vote.

“Disenfranchising convictions. There’s a list of all kinds of different charges that would have you purged,” said Wilks.

Some convictions on that list include arson, robbery, extortion, embezzlement, murder and rape to name a few.

“When somebody registers to vote and we send them something, say it’s their voter registration card or a jury summons and there’s no reply, we let the election commissioners know about that and they will do everything in their power to try to find that person and if within a certain time they can’t find that person then they’ll purge them,” Wilks said.

For more details on the process of purging and maintaining voter rolls, you can visit the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website.

For information on your own voting status, contact your local circuit clerk.

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